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RA flagship to revive cultural Mayfair

The new extensions to the Royal Academy of Arts will become a cultural flagship for the West End of London says Charles Saumarez Smith, the institution's Secretary and Chief Executive.

Speaking at our recent 'Art Investment and Cities' Forum, he commented that policy planners do not always take into account how competitive city culture can be. He gave examples of other European cities that are in a prime position to attract international businesses and families to relocate while being a competitive draw for the tourist who is interested in more than "hotels and the exchange rate".

Charles talked about the new 257-seat lecture theatre, a large gallery for the RA's own British art collection - currently in storage - and additional rooms for contemporary exhibitions, which will all open in May this year as part of the Academy's 250th anniversary celebrations.

Please watch Charles speaking at our event on the history of the Burlington Gardens building which will be incorporated into the RA's new cultural offer and the impact on the community and environment of Cork Street, Savile Row, Bond Street, Piccadilly and wider Mayfair.

Burlington Gardens facade of the Royal Academy of Arts.

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