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Masters from Paris in Canberra

Thursday, February 18, 2010

There's a cultured side to Getaway's former footballer Dermott Brereton. He joined the throngs at the National Gallery of Australia to see the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition, and loved it.

Never before has the priceless collection of post-impressionist works left the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and it's proved to be such a hit in Australia, the gallery has extended opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays. They've even opened a champagne sculpture bar in the garden.

Short of taking the long and expensive journey to Paris, we are fortunate enough to enjoy the 114 French post-impressionist masterpieces in our own backyard.

The works of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Monet, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vuillard and Bonnard are all represented there. Some of the works are most familiar, and others will be a delightful discovery.

If you fancy, there are guided audio tours giving information about each work. If you think it may all be a little boring for children, they haven't been forgotten; there's a great family activity room where children can test their creativity and work on following in the footsteps of the greats.

While you're in Canberra, it's a good idea to check out the recently opened National Portrait Gallery right next door. It has an impressive collection of more than 400 portraits of prominent Australians, important in their field and immortalised on canvas.

Location

The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Cost

The artworks will be on display until April 5, 2010. Entry is $25 for adults and $6 for children up to 16 years of age. Family tickets are $55 for two adults and two children. The masterpieces are on show between 10am and 5pm from Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 7pm on Friday and Saturday.

Bookings can be made online at www.nga.gov.au or www.ticketek.com.au.

Entry to the National Portrait Gallery is free of charge. It's open between 10am and 5pm every day. There are talks each Wednesday between 12.45 and 1.30pm and Portraits on Sunday host artists, curators and historians talking between 2 and 3pm.

Virgin Blue has flights to Canberra. One way fares from:

Sydney $79
Melbourne $89
Brisbane $119
Adelaide $129
Hobart $169
Darwin and Perth $229

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at February 18, 2010, and are subject to change.

Prices correct at February 18, 2010.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789
www.virginblue.com.au

Masterpieces from Paris
National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place
Parkes 2600
Ph: (02) 6240 6411
www.nga.gov.au/exhibition/masterpiecesfromparis

National Portrait Gallery
King Edward Terrace
Parkes 2600
Ph: (02) 6102 7080
Fax: (02) 6102 7001
www.portrait.gov.au

Canberra and Region Visitors Centre 330 Northbourne Avenue
Dickson 2602
Ph: 1300 554 114
www.visitcanberra.com.au

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