Kamakura modernist museum to re-open this June

After a lengthy refurbishment and retrofit, the former Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, will officially re-open as the Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum on June 8. The iconic modernist building was designed by Junzo Sakakura (1901-1969) and opened in 1951 as Japan’s first public museum of modern art.

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Hope for Kamakura’s modernist museum

Museum of Modern Art Kamakura

One of Japan’s exemplary models of modern architecture – the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura – now stands a chance at being saved from demolition after a recent structural analysis found that it could be reinforced against earthquakes.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Government is also in discussions with the landowner, the nearby Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine, to seek an extension to the land lease.

In late 2013, it was reported that the prefecture decided against renewing the lease due to the high costs of maintaining the buildings and the anticipated costs of retrofitting. The prefecture announced plans to close the museum at the end of March 2016. Under the terms of the lease, any buildings were required to be demolished before returning the land to the Shrine.

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