High profile Australian arts administrator Michael Lynch is to be replaced by senior civil servant Duncan Pescod as CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District, the arts mega project in Hong Kong.
Lynch, who was director of the Sydney Opera House and CEO of the South Bank in London, held the post for four years from 2011. He is now set to return to Australia and retire, though will remain a special advisor to the WKCD Authority for another year.
Pescod has 30 years of experience running projects for the Hong Kong government and has been COO of the WKCD for the past nine months. He will take over as CEO from Aug 3.
The hugely ambitious WKCD, which is to include a visual arts museum and various performing arts facilities, has been bogged down for more than 10 years, and its ballooning financial cost remains incomplete.
The Hong Kong government thanked Lynch “for his leadership in the past four years in taking forward the project. During his tenure, Michael has made significant contributions to the project both in terms of its hardware and software development.”
The government acknowledged “some financial challenges” but said that the WKCD Authority will deliver the project in a cost-effective manner, and expedite the completion of some planned facilities for public enjoyment.”