Nicola Sturgeon ‘overawed’ by ‘world-class’ V&A Dundee


Nicola Sturgeon at V&A

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The first minister called the new museum “breathtaking”

Nicola Sturgeon has called the new V&A Dundee museum “world-class” as she toured the building for the first time.

The first minister was shown around the £80.1m attraction where she said her expectations were “wildly exceeded”.

V&A Dundee’s opening weekend launched on Friday with a sold-out concert headlined by Primal Scream.

Thousands of people turned out for the 3D Festival in Slessor Gardens, which also included performances from Lewis Capaldi and Dundee’s Be Charlotte.

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Primal Scream headlined the 3D festival on Friday night

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Singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi also performed at the event to mark the V&A’s opening weekend

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Dundee musician Be Charlotte on stage at the concert in Slessor Gardens

Friday’s festival event was broadcast on BBC Two Scotland.

The museum opens on Saturday but the balloted ticket-only opening weekend has sold out.

Ms Sturgeon told the BBC: “It is absolutely stunning, breathtaking. I came here today with very high expectations but those expectations have been wildly exceeded.

“This is world class and I am overawed by what I’ve just seen. Externally it is stunning but the exhibitions inside really do take your breath away.”

She said she had enjoyed the Ocean Liner exhibition and called the recreated Mackintosh Oak Room “absolutely wonderful”, saying it was extremely poignant to see after June’s fire at Glasgow School of Art.

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Almost 2,000 people from local community groups and schools are visiting today

The first minister said the museum would bring people to the city: “This puts Dundee on the cultural map of the world. People will come from all over the world to see the V&A here.

“First and foremost it’s brilliant for this fantastic city and of course it’s part of this wonderful waterfront development but for Scotland as well, it is tremendous.

“Scotland has got many cultural assets to be proud of but this is right up there with the best of them and it really does reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a brilliant destination and as a really good place for culture.”

About 2,000 local children and community group representatives also visited the museum on Friday.

Dundee-based Biome Collective and Agency of None have created “Hello World”, an audio and visual installation that will see the building lit up at the end of Friday’s event.

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Alan Richardson

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The building will be lit up at the end of Friday’s festival

Saturday’s day festival in Slessor Gardens, which is not ticketed, includes performances from Dundee musicians Kyle Falconer and Gary Clark.

The V&A Dundee’s Young People’s Collective have designed the festival with promoters DF Concerts and Events.

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Media captionDundee musician Be Charlotte says the city is a great place for creativity

The museum was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and is expected to attract 500,000 visitors in its first year.

The design galleries include 300 objects, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room, the conserved and painstakingly reconstructed interior of Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearoom which has been not been seen for 50 years.

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