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Mona to appeal decision to allow men into ‘Ladies Lounge’ in Supreme Court

Pulse Tasmania
MONA appeals to Supreme Court to keep 'Ladies Lounge' open. Image / Supplied

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is fighting to keep its women-only ‘Ladies Lounge’ open after an anti-discrimination body ruled it must allow men in – or close.

MONA was given 28 days to allow entry to people who don’t identify as women, a decision they say they will now appeal in the Tasmanian Supreme Court.

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The Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) earlier this year ruled that MONA discriminated against a man who was denied entry to the Ladies Lounge.

The Lounge was created by artist Kirsha Kaechele, wife of museum owner David Walsh and features artworks that explore the historical exclusion of women from certain spaces.

Kirsha Kaechele leaves the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing with her supporters. Image / Supplied

“I think it’s worth exercising the argument, not only for the Ladies Lounge, but for the good of art and the law,” Kaechele said on her decision to appeal.

“We need to challenge the law to consider a broader reading of its definitions as they apply to art and the impact it has on the world, as well as the right for conceptual art to make some people (men) uncomfortable.”

Inside the TASCAT courtroom where the ruling was made. Image / Isabella Foster

“Ladies love the Lounge – a space away from men – and given what we have been through for the last several millennia, we need it.”

MONA has closed the Ladies Lounge to the public until the appeal is heard.

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Kaechele says she’s been encouraged by ideas for the Lounge’s future, suggesting the possibility of modifications even if the appeal is successful.

“This encouragement has reassured me that I am indeed appealing,” she said.

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