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Tate Modern extension ‘on schedule’ to welcome visitors in 2012

London SE1 website team

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota is confident the Tate Modern extension will open in Olympic year and that the financial appeal will succeed.

Tate Modern extension ‘on schedule’ to welcome visitors in 2012

"We have every expectation we will be able to use the new building in 2012," said Sir Nicholas during a press conference held on Thursday morning at Tate Britain to announce the exhibitions to be held in Olympic year.

"The important milestones have been reached on time. We had to secure an empty switch house and demolition is about to begin. If you visit the site now you will see it progressing on time and on budget."

On being asked about the cost, Sir Nicholas said: "We continue to be in conversation with individuals. We have raised more money over the last three or four months and we are making good progress. The trustees remain completely confident about our ability to raise the £215 million that is required to build the extension to Tate Modern."

During the summer of 2012 Tate Modern will stage the first substantial survey in the UK of the work of Damien Hirst. The exhibition of around seventy works is being sponsored by the Qatar Museums Authority.

It seemed the right moment to show a British artist at Tate Modern in 2012 said Sir Nicholas who added that he expected the show to include new work.

Edvard Munch: the Modern Eye will attempt a radical assessment of the Norwegian artist by revealing his obsession with the rise of photography and his interest in stage production.

This exhibition, staged in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Munch Museet in Oslo, will be seen first in Paris and Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, as part of the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, Tino Sehgal has been commissioned to create work for the Turbine Hall. Details are yet to be revealed but his installations are known for their high level of interaction and engagement with the visitor.

Tino Sehgal 2012, the thirteenth commission in the Unilever Series, is scheduled to open a week before the London Olympics opening ceremony at the end of July.

Sir Nicholas said that more information about the Tate Modern extension timetable will be made available when the gallery's new director Chris Dercon, presently director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, arrives in May.

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