Australia pulls out of the 2020 Venice Biennale

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced it will no longer participate in the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale, scheduled to begin in August.

In a statement, the Institute said, “The rapidly changing and escalating situation regarding COVID-19 has made it impossible for us to plan for the exhibition, as the health and safety of our staff, members, partners and volunteers is our main priority.

“We know that COVID-19 is presenting architects with significant financial and economic challenges. Therefore we are going to reallocate our resources to fund initiatives to help support our members as they navigate through this crisis.

“We thank our Creative Directors Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway, and the entire creative team, for their hard work and commitment to the project. They have come up with a truly inspiring response to the theme of ‘how will we live together?’ and we look forward to working with them to showcase this work in other ways when it is safe to do so.”

Australia’s exhibition, titled In Between, would have explored connections between indigenous cultures across Australia and the South Pacific. Read our interview with the creative directors.

The 17 Venice Architecture Biennale was originally scheduled to begin in May, however, due to an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy, the event was postponed until August.

On 24 March, the Australian government introduced a ban on Australians travelling overseas.

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