Monday, December 19, 2016
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD: Scrapped Plan for Guggenheim Helsinki Reveals Political Fissures
In a 53 to 32 vote on November 30, the Helsinki City Council rejected a proposal to build Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki Architectes’ design for a new Guggenheim satellite museum on the Finnish capital’s waterfront. The city council’s decision is the culmination of five years of fierce dispute, which has rattled Finnish politics and sparked debate within the architecture community.
Johanna Lemola, a spokeswoman for the Helsinki municipal government said the crucial meeting was “highly emotional.” Those in favor of the project, mainly from the political right, argued that the museum would increase employment and boost tourism as the Guggenheim’s Frank Gehry-designed satellite did for Bilbao. The political left and the populist Finns Party, meanwhile, objected to the use of public money to partially fund the $138 million museum. The meeting was so tense, according to Lemola, that it was even suggested that some councilors did not attend out of fear for their safety.
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