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The tomb of modernity

Moma has not only defined the idea of the modern art museum, it has sustained New York as the defining modern city. So why does its monumental redesign make it look like a mausoleum?

By Mark Irving   November 2004

This November, the largest, grandest and richest modern art museum in the world reopens after a two and a half year closure to allow for an architectural expansion expected to cost up to $858m. The project to reshape the Museum of Modern Art, located between 54th and 53rd street in midtown Manhattan, is pharaonic in scale. At the hands of Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, it has become twice its former size. The revamped museum offers 50 per cent more gallery space (125,000 sq ft), an enlarged sculpture garden, a new lobby and a set of column-free exhibition spaces specifically designed…

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