Is Cape Town on track to become of the great art cities of the world?
It started out so well. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Art Africa in Cape Town was launched a year ago with the blessing of a delighted Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Last September Tutu was among dignatories at the official opening of the huge arts space on the City’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
Dubbed Africa’s Tate Modern, it is situated in what was once a 1920s grain silo. The museum not only contains a massive collection of contemporary African art but has 100 gallery spaces in which to display its rich collection.
Speakers praised the new museum saying that it would prove an iconic visitor attraction creating jobs, boosting the economy and bringing guests from all over the world.
But despite the confident launch The Zeitz ran into problems early this summer when chief curator and executive director Mark Coetzee was suspended amid an inquiry into his professional conduct.
Meanwhile there were calls for the museum to reveal more about its finances and internal practices. Now the museum has promised to be more transparent in its operations with one of its leaders Brooke Minto pledging “many public conversations” and the publication of annual report this autumn.
Watch this space. With luck the Zeitz will soon be operating in a manner that will reward Desmond Tutu’s optimism and his belief that Cape Town will soon be internationally recognised as one of the great art cities of the world.