A world-class exhibition space opened in Cardiff on July 9, 2011.

A $6.5 million museum opened its doors to the public on Saturday July 9th.

The Wales National Museum of Art inCardiff, opens a new West Wing of six integrated contemporary galleries covering 8,600 sq feet highlighting the museum’s world-class collection and making the museum one of the largest venues for public art in theUK, outsideLondon. The buzz inWalesis that the museum will rival the successful Tate Modern gallery inLondon.

40,000 treasures which include outstanding European Old Masters and an inspiring contemporary collection will be housed for the first time under one roof.

The museum is renowned particularly for one of the most important collections of Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings outsideParisand these will be newly displayed.

“We have a world class collection and this will be a world class display for it,” said David Anderson, the director general of theNationalMuseumsand Galleries of Wales. Mr Anderson said he hoped the art museum would help boost the profile ofCardiffas a European capital andWalesas a cultural destination. He expects to have more touring exhibitions.

Americabenefited from the two-year construction period because during that time treasures from the Wales National Museum of Art toured theUSA. The exhibit called ‘From Turner to Cezanne,’ was a stunning collection of 53 works spanning Romanticism, Naturalism, Realism and Impressionism.

In 2012-13, the museum’s “The Image of the British Landscape” exhibition will tour theUnited States.

The opening display in July 2011 – “I Cannot Escape This Place” – of 44 works will include leading British and international artists such as Lucian Freud, David Hockney andRachel Whiteread as well as Welsh artists.

Entry to each Museum is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.