Guggenheim Helsinki plan voted down

City council narrowly votes against art museum
A plan to build a new $138 million Guggenheim museum in Helsinki with private and public funds has narrowly been voted down by members of the city council.
After more than five hours of debate, the 85-member council rejected the plan, 53 to 32, abandoning – at least for now – the project to construct the art museum at Helsinki’s South Harbour.
“The main objections to the project presented by council members included the project’s excessive cost for the Finnish taxpayer; inadequate private funding; and the proposed site, which was considered too valuable for the project,” the council’s communications department said after the vote.
The building would have been the New York Guggenheim’s fourth satellite museum, with other locations in Venice, Bilbao and one planned for Abu Dhabi.
It has been a topic of considerable controversy in Finland ever since plans were initially unveiled in 2011. Airport operator Finavia said in April this year that it would invest in the project.
Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, told The New York Times that he believed the museum could have substantially raised Helsinki’s cultural profile.
“I suppose that it was a reaction to a sense of engulfing internationalism, or a reaction against globalism,” he said. “That’s how I’m explaining it to myself.”
The New York Times


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