The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation unveiled plans Tuesday for a $178-million museum in Helsinki, to be developed jointly with the Finnish capital, Reuters reports.
The announcement follows completion of a yearlong feasibility study, which concluded that developing the museum on a city-owned waterfront site would boost Helsinki’s standing as a cultural capital, writes The New York Times. City officials are due to decide on the project within a few weeks.
The foundation, which operates museums in New York, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates, said Helsinki’s art and design tradition and plans to develop its harbor make it suitable spot for expansion. “We were quite interested and excited by what we saw here,” said Ari Wiseman, the Guggenheim’s deputy director.
But Paavo Arhinmaki, Finland’s culture minister, took a dim view of the project, saying it would cost the country’s taxpayers nearly $128-million and force cuts in other state culture spending.
In other arts news:
The partial payment, a year ahead of the January 2013 due date, will save the opera interest costs and “demonstrate to the county that we’re able to fulfill our obligations,” opera board chairman Marc Stern said.
• New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has recruited a prominent London curator to run its new department devoted to 20th- and 21st-century works, The New York Times says.
The hiring of Tate Modern chief curator Sheena Wagstaff, approved by the Met’s board on Tuesday, signals the museum’s aim to step up its emphasis on contemporary art, long viewed as its weakest area.