A Tasmanian gambler rethinks what an art museum does
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Devils, wilderness, the genocide of all its original inhabitants and a rich soft cheese from the King Island Dairy: these are the things the Australian state of Tasmania is known for. World-class contemporary art? Not so much. The southernmost outpost of an already remote continent, its location alone would seem to preclude a spot on the culture circuit.
And yet, the Museum of Old and New Art (or MONA, as it likes to be called—with an emphasis on the moan) is gouging out a name as a cultural destination with as much resolve as the building is carved into the 250 million-year-old Triassic sandstone.