A thumb of land jutting into the Derwent River hosts the astonishing MONA museum, the largest private art museum in Australia and the focus of a high-end restaurant, wines and accommodation complex. Reopened in January 2011 after a $75 million refurbishment, the futuristic riverbank “Museum of Old and New Art” is the personal vision of its Tasmanian owner, millionaire gambler David Walsh. His impish description of it as a “subversive Disneyland” helps to explain changing exhibits that seem selected to shock and provoke: a sex and death gallery, for example, or the digestive machine by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye that “eats” rotting beef and defecates. Fulfilling the “Old” part of the title is Walsh’s superb collection of antiquities.
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