RENOVATION work has begun at the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo after management secured funding from the Australian and Swiss embassies, NewsDay Life & Style has learnt.

Late last year, music legend and True Love hitmaker, Busi Ncube, staged a fundraising show to pool financial resources for the institution’s refurbishment after she received an SOS from the gallery’s director Butholezwe Nyathi.

The assistant curator at the gallery, Cliford Zulu, confirmed that funding had been secured and work has begun.

“2020 will be a busy year for the gallery. We devoted the greater part of 2019 to mobilising financial and material resources for renovations,” he said.

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Zulu indicated that following the release of funding through a Direct Aid Programme grant, renovations to damaged sections of the building housing the gallery were now underway.

“The renovations will include installation of a disability ramp in line with our principle of enhancing ease of access to the building by people with disabilities,” he said.

Zulu said another grant from the Embassy of Switzerland will see them installing a solar system to power sections of the gallery.

“We will also increase the storage capacity of our permanent collection so that we keep an expanded range of the visual memory of the region. We look forward to unveiling a refurbished and environmentally friendly gallery by the end of the first quarter of 2020,” he said.

“In our commitment to improve artists’ competencies and the quality of artists in Bulawayo and the greater Matabeleland region, the partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland will see the gallery implement a series of capacity development programmes for local artists,” he said.