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1 December 2008

Behind the Lines: The Year's Best Cartoons 2008, an exhibition exploring the twists and turns of another eventful year in Australian politics, has been opened by the Hon Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts at the National Museum of Australia.

'Behind the Lines has been a popular annual feature at the National Museum of Australia for a decade but this is the first time cartoonists have experienced a year without John Howard as Prime Minister,' said exhibition curator Kathryn Chisholm.

'Despite a collective mourning period at the end of the Howard era, the nation's political cartoonists have embraced the challenge of capturing a new set of faces in what has been a turbulent year in Australian politics,' Kathryn said.

The exhibition will trace the major events of the year including Kevin Rudd's first year in office, the apology, the 2020 summit, global warming and the world financial meltdown.

The cartoons in this year's exhibition represent the best Australian political cartoons sourced by the National Museum throughout the year. Artists include Bill Leak, Cathy Wilcox, John Spooner, David Rowe, Geoff Pryor, David Pope, Mark Knight and First Dog On The Moon.

Exhibition visitors will be invited to choose their favourite cartoon for the People's Choice Award, a $1000 prize for the cartoonist with most popular work in the exhibition.

Behind the Lines: The Year's Best Cartoons 2008 is a National Museum of Australia travelling exhibition and will travel to Parramatta, Melbourne, Hobart and Perth throughout 2009.

The exhibition is on display at the National Museum of Australia from December 2, 2008 to February 1, 2009.

For interviews, images and more information please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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