Floods Force Closure of Brisbane Cultural District
By HG Masters
After three days of continuous rain in Queensland, the waters of the Brisbane River peaked at 3.85 meters on February 28, inundating the central city including the Queensland Cultural Centre, which is home to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) along with a performing arts venue and the state library. There have been no reports yet of any damage to the museum or artworks.
QAGOMA had announced its closure a day earlier, on February 27, and will remain closed until further notice, with all programs canceled through March 6. The museum is currently hosting the Asia Pacific Triennial 10.
The museum sits right along the South Bank. In January 2011, 4.5-meter-high floods caused damage to interior areas, including of the Gallery of Modern Art. The Queensland Cultural Centre was closed for more than a month after the flooding that year.
Storms brought more than 1.5 meters of rain to parts of Brisbane, almost a year’s worth in just a few days. The high waters have killed at least eight people, and damaged potentially as many as 15,000 properties.
The rain is expected to shift southward toward Sydney, with areas of New South Wales already experiencing heavy rain. Sydney is due to get 20 centimeters of rain on March 2. The 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled “rīvus,” with a focus on fresh and saltwater ecosystems, is due to open next week.