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Turner Contemporary opens today

by Martin Jefferies

Thousands of people queued to take a look inside Margate's
Turner Contemporary, as the £17 million art gallery opened for the
first time.

More than 3,000 people visited in just three hours on Saturday,
officials at the gallery said.

Many turned up early to catch a glimpse of Tracey Emin, who
officially opened the building at 10am.

The artist also ended months of speculation by confirming
that she would be holding her own exhibition at Turner
Contemporary, starting next May.

TV presenter Jools Holland, who was part of the opening
ceremony, described the gallery as "world class".

Victoria Pomery, director of Turner Contemporary, said: "It's a
fantastic moment and it's great to see such a huge number of people
clammering to get into the gallery. Unfortunately, people have had
to queue - or maybe that's a good thing!"

Roger Gale, the MP for North Thanet, added: "This is the first
opportunity that the people of Margate have had to come and make
the gallery their own, and that's very important indeed. Of course
we want to attract lots of visitors but this is also about local
people."

Among the works on display inside Turner
Contempoary is an eye-catching painting by JMW
Turner himself, as well as modern art from six up-and-coming
artists, including Daniel Buren, Ellen Harvey and Conrad
Shawcross.

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Find out everything you need to know about Kent's newest art
gallery - including news, guides and blog entries - in our special report.

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