#World News

Art museum loses court case over women-only exhibit

By Hannah Ritchie

Men will soon be allowed to enter a women’s only artwork in Australia, following a high-stakes court case over the matter.

The Ladies Lounge exhibit at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) sought to highlight historic misogyny by banning male visitors.

After being denied entry, a man sued for illegal discrimination, which he won on Tuesday.

“We are deeply disappointed by this decision,” a Mona representative said.

The lounge – which contains some of the museum’s most-acclaimed works, from Picasso to Sidney Nolan – has been open since 2020.

It was designed to take the concept of an old Australian pub – a space which largely excluded women until 1965 – and turn it on its head, offering champagne and five-star service to female attendants, while refusing males at the door.

Jason Lau, a New South Wales resident who visited Mona in April of last year, was one such male.

Representing himself throughout the case, he argued that the museum had violated the state’s anti-discrimination act by failing to provide “a fair provision of goods and services in line with the law” to him and other ticket holders who didn’t identify as female.

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