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Which Palm Beach County museum is now free to get in?

After a month of preparation for its two-and-a-half year renovation, the Norton Museum of Art re-opens July 5 with free admission.

Which means an opportunity to beat the heat this summer with a variety of free activities.

The museum was closed while staff prepares for a $100 million renovation which will enlarge the building and transform its facade along South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.

Admission will continue to be free until what’s being called The New Norton is completed in late 2018.

This summer, staff favorites from the Norton’s collection are on view, including Edward Hopper’s August in the City, Claude Monet’s Gardens of the Villa Moreno, Bordighera, Paul Gauguin’s Christ in the Garden of Olives and Edgar Degas’ bronze Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot.

A large-scale video installation by Mark Fox will show scenes of Monet’s Giverny garden in France. Fox’s camera recorded underwater views of changing light and seasons in Monet’s famous lily ponds.

The Thursday evening Art After Dark series reconvenes July 7 with an Americana program that includes the guitar and fiddle music of the Fiesta Bobs, along with craft beer, sliders, fries and corndogs.

On Bastille Day, July 14, the French Horn Collective will perform while artists demonstrate plein air painting and visitors can take a French language lessons and nibble French food.

Also at Art After Dark, Florida Atlantic University’s Theatre Lab, led by well-known director Louis Tyrell, will perform a series of one-act plays on July 21, August 18 and September 25.

The museum has already raised more than $60 million to finance the renovation, which is being designed by the prestigious London architectural firm of Foster + Partners. Norton officials have said they believe they can raise another $40 million by December 2018, when the project is scheduled to be finished.

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