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Secret garden gift of £2m for V&A

An anonymous donor has given the Victoria and Albert Museum £2 million towards the redesign of its 19th century Italianate courtyard garden.

Work on Kim Wilkie's competition-winning design will start in September and is set to open to the public next summer.

The tranquil new garden in the heart of the museum will have a paved, stone ellipse at its centre that can be transformed into a pool and water display.

Wilkie said: 'The V&A is one of the great treasure troves of the world and it will be a real pleasure to create a simple, open courtyard at its heart.'

The team at Kim Wilkie Associates beat entries from five international designers to win the competition to revamp the courtyard (AJ 19.2.04).

The museum intends to use the new garden for parties, outdoor events and theatre productions.

Mark Jones, director of the V&A, said: 'This will be an elegant, leafy garden which is in harmony with the surrounding architecture and which will add to visitors' enjoyment of the museum.'

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