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Panama’s Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) will be moving to a building in the heart of Casco Antiguo – if the trustees can raise $10 million to build it. The museum will be located in the area known as Las Norias, a site facing the sea a few steps from the Herrera Square (Plaza Herrera).
But a giant step was taken towards this goal last week when land for the new museum was transferred to the National Cultural Institute (INAC for its initials in Spanish). This was made possible through an initiative of the Office of the First Lady, Marta Linares de Martinelli.
The land transfer took place last Monday, March 11 at Salon Paz of the Presidency of the Republic. The complex will have three buildings: one with four stories, that will house the museum, the second dedicated to retail premises that are going to be rent to pay for the upkeep of the museum and the third, which is also four stories will be utilized as parking.
The MAC´s public relations manager, Lizi Rodríguez said this was the result of years of struggle, until finally land was given to build the museum.
“The actual premises are in an awkward location in Ancon away from the normal routes of both locals and tourists, which make it difficult to visit. It also does not allow us to have a permanent Panamanian artists’ exhibit. That is one the reason we are planning to build a new museum,” said the Rodríguez.
The next challenge for the museum is to find sponsors in order to raise the money to construct the buildings that have an estimated cost of $10 million. Rodriguez added “that we have the blueprint for the complex, but we do not know when the works are going to start, having the land is a great step forward for this project.”