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Powerhouse & UTS explore

The Powerhouse Museum may yet retain a presence in Ultimo. Photo: Louise Kennerley.

Linda Morris, Powerhouse and University of Technology Sydney in partnership talks, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2017

The Powerhouse Museum could strike a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney to allow the museum to retain a presence in Ultimo.

The two institutions are holding talks and have canvassed the expansion of the university’s presence at the museum’s Harris Street site, including involvement in events, programs, exhibitions, joint appointments and the use of space for classrooms or studios.

This could ultimately see the Powerhouse Museum’s curatorial expertise in science, technology, transport and engineering moved to its planned Parramatta site but decorative arts, fashion, design and architecture remain in some form at Ultimo.

A UTS spokesman denied there were negotiations to purchase or lease the Harwood building, which houses the museum’s collection, to be redeveloped for classes, studios or student accommodation.

But she confirmed the university was developing a memorandum of understanding to “facilitate further opportunities to work together closely” with the museum.

“As is commonly the case when organisations enter into MOUs, this is not a legally binding document but rather a statement of our shared commitment to working together in areas of common interest,” the spokeswoman said.

“UTS has always stated the critical need for a thriving cultural heart in Ultimo and as such we welcome the NSW government’s commitment to retaining an arts and culture presence here, and we will support that outcome in any way that we can.”

Such a partnership could meet the government’s commitment to dedicate part of the Ultimo site as cultural space but is unlikely to disarm opposition to its plans to shift any or part of the Museum of Allied Arts and Science to a riverbank site in Parramatta.

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