4 Jun 2009
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The 53rd Venice Biennale, set up in 1895, attracted over 70 countries to the famous city ahead of the public opening on 7 June 2009.
New Zealand ambassador Laurie Marks said the Biennale was a fantastic event. ``What better location than Venice to experience the transposition of the South pacific with such a historical centre of Italian art.''
New Zealand's opening festivities included an early morning procession with award winning kapa haka group Te Waka Huia. There was also an official blessing of artist Judy Millar's exhibition venue, the historic La Maddalena church, and sculptor Francis Upritchard's Fondazione Claudio Buziol, an intimate former residence that looks directly onto the main canal. This was followed by a powhiri at Venice's historic Piazzo St Marco.
Jenny Harper, who with Creative New Zealand commissioned the Biennale artists, said `The exhibitions created by Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard are making us feel so proud and are sure to create a sensation here in this amazing city.''
The ceremony was viewed by an international audience. Click to see coverage in the following media outlets.
The Press' Arts Editor Chris Moore's Blog on Stuff - direct from Venice
Radio New Zealand Arts on Sunday 19 July 09
The Independent (5 June)
(German Translation: Kiwis for the arts
New Zealand pavilion opens with a Maori-ceremony on St Mark's square. In Venice opens the 53. Biennale for the arts, the oldest and most important exhibition of contemporary art. )
Keep up to date with New Zealand at the Venice Biennale at www.nzatvenice.com