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Four years after breaking ground, New York's much-loved Whitney Museum for American Art reopens Friday in a futuristic $422 million premises built by Italian architect Renzo Piano.The entire museum, which some say looks a bit like an oil tanker, covers 20,500 square meters with well over 3,500 square meters of indoor exhibition space and nearly 4,000 meters of outdoor terrace galleries.In addition, the Whitney has an education center, library, 170-seat auditorium, conservation center, cafe and restaurant.The Whitney exhibits only American art from the 20th and 21st centuries. It was founded in 1930 by artist and benefactor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and has a permanent collection of more than 22,000 works by more than 3,000 artists.AIDS, war, identity and racial identity are just a few of the issues covered by some of the more than 600 works by 400 artists that will fill indoor and outdoor exhibition space.
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