Proposal to bring Benaki to Melbourne

By Maeve Bannister

Developer ISPT has lodged an application for the redevelopment of the former Land Titles Office (LTO) building which would include a 30-storey tower and the world’s first permanent Benaki Museum outside of Greece.

The application for the heritage-listed building at 247-283 Queen St is, according to ISPT, a bid to revitalise the Melbourne landmark and create a new and vibrant heritage precinct. 

ISPT CEO Daryl Browning said the proposed redevelopment of the former LTO would bring significant economic benefits to the state through the construction of the development and its ongoing operation. 

“[The development] represents the creation of a precinct that values and celebrates a culture of arts, education and knowledge,” he said. 

According to ISPT, a substantial number of jobs would be generated by the restoration and an annual gross value added to the state of an estimated $864 million through ongoing operations and $146 million for each year over the construction period. 

The ISPT would make a new home for the Melbourne Hellenic Museum in the original LTO heritage building as well as providing additional space in a new 30-storey tower on Little Lonsdale St.  

A render of the development.

The new museum would be a collaboration with the world-renowned Benaki Museum, located in Athens, which would provide access to its extensive collections in Greece. 

Hellenic Museum CEO John Tatoulis said the new museum would be the result of a unique partnership between the three entities. 

“We’ve all come together because of our collective belief in the need to establish Melbourne, a truly inclusive first tier cultural institution of both national and international significance,” he said. 

Academic director of the Benaki Museum Dr George Manginis said the partnership would open a new chapter in the museum’s cosmopolitan legacy. 

“This wonderful opportunity to work with the Hellenic Museum and with ISPT to establish a new, world class cultural institution in Australia is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us,” he said.

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