'Transformed' Tate Britain unveiled

The centrepiece of the Tate Britain's £45m revamp is a central staircase

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Tate Britain is unveiling the results of a £45 million renovation that has transformed the oldest parts of the Grade II London gallery.

The project involves the reopening of its Thames-facing entrance and a new spiral staircase beneath its rotunda.

The circular balcony of the rotunda's domed atrium, closed to visitors since the 1920s, has also been reopened.

The unveiling follows the May opening of 10 new galleries and a chronological rehanging of 500 British artworks.

Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain, said the renovations "reassert and enhance the original grandeur and logic of the galleries".

Tate Britain's Millbank entrance Tate Britain's Millbank entrance
Tate Britain atrium Tate Britain atrium
View of spiral staircase from above View of spiral staircase from above
View of spiral staircase from below View of spiral staircase from below

Also included in the Tate's makeover is the restoration of The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats 1926-7, a famous mural by Rex Whistler in the restaurant that bears his name.

The gallery also now has a dedicated schools' entrance and reception beneath its entrance steps on Millbank and a new archive gallery for the presentation of temporary displays.

The new Tate Britain has its official opening on Tuesday, with a free "house warming party" to take place on 23 November.

The renovations were partly made possible by a £4.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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