Singapore Pinacotheque, offshoot of prestigious private art museum in Paris, to open on May 30

SINGAPORE - Singapore Pinacotheque, the first international offshoot of a prestigious private art museum in Paris, will open on May 30.

Among its works on permanent display are about 40 pieces by artists such as Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, American abstract painter Jackson Pollock and French impressionism founder Claude Monet.

A gallery in the museum will also host exhibitions that will run for select periods of time. The first is the Myth Of Cleopatra exhibition, which explores the mysteries surrounding the ancient Egyptian queen through highlights such as archaeological artefacts and films. It goes on display from May 30 to Oct 11.

Adult ticket prices to the museum, located at a 5,500 sq m three-storey building at Fort Canning Park, range from $11 to $28, depending on the exhibitions. Students, senior citizens and children under the age of six are entitled to discounts.

The museum will open from 10am to 7.30pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 10am to 8.30pm on Friday and Saturday. There will also be a free-admission heritage gallery dedicated to the history of Fort Canning, as well as food and beverage and retail tenants.

There will be an art academy, which will host paid classes, seminars and lectures on topics such as art history. Classes there will begin from next month.

Singapore Pinacotheque's chief executive Suguna Madhavan tells Life!: "In line with (museum founder) Marc Restellini's vision to bring art to the masses, launching the museum during the school holidays allows families time to visit."

Assistant marketing manager Raven Ke, 29, hopes to see more diverse art collections from regions such as Japan and the Middle East. "I hope to see art pieces with strong heritage stories," he says.

Art enthusiast and lawyer Ling Han, 25, however, thinks that admission fees should be adjusted to "encourage art patronage". "$28 is about what you'd pay to enter world famous museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. It should lower prices to build a strong base first."

In February, Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier, a partner in Art Heritage Singapore, the firm managing the museum's launch, was arrested after a client complained he manipulated the prices of art sold to him.

He has been released on bail, and now faces charges of fraud and money laundering. But the museum's management said plans for the opening are unaffected.

For more information, go to www.pinacotheque.com.sg