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12 October 2015

Statement by National Museum of Australia director, Dr Mathew Trinca

‘It is with great sadness that we learned about the passing of Andrew Sayers at the weekend. Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Andrew made a profound contribution to the life of the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery of Australia.

He was highly regarded by his colleagues at the National Museum, where he served as Director between 2010 and 2013, and at all the other institutions where he had roles over his long career. All the places where Andrew worked, and all the friends he made throughout his career, are the better for his contribution.

His career was distinguished by his ability to marry great scholarship, a precise curatorial eye and keen administrative skills, to ensure that the public experienced our precious cultural collections, which speak to who we are as Australians.

During his tenure at the National Museum, Andrew oversaw infrastructure projects and initiated a major program of Australian-themed exhibitions including Glorious Days: Australia 1913, Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists and Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story.

Indeed, it is rare that a single individual makes such a difference to the life and work of so many of Australia’s national cultural institutions.

Late in life, Andrew returned to his great love of painting, where he again demonstrated his formidable creative talents.

Andrew will be sorely missed by his friends here at the National Museum and throughout the Australian arts community.’

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