Call for restoring Sutherland's ex-home

Dec. 27, 2004 at 3:43 PM
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SYDNEY, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Fifty years after opera diva Joan Sutherland left Australia to pursue her singing career her childhood home in Sydney is in need of some restoration.

The paint is peeling off the Victorian facade of the house, its second-story verandah has collapsed and the garden is overgrown, reported the Australian Monday.

Robin Brampton of the West Woollahra Association has called for the house to be publicly acquired and converted into a museum dedicated to Australian opera. He estimated the restoration of the house would cost about $780,000.

Real estate agent Di Jones said a private owner, who has held the house since 1959, does not seem interested in selling.

A local government official said everyone would love to see the house restored to its former glory, but it cannot order the owner to do anything unless the house becomes a danger to the public.

Sutherland, who now lives in Switzerland, was one six recipients of the 27th annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington earlier this month. She was saluted for her lifetime contribution to American culture through the performing arts.

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