Helsinki rejects plan for £114 million Guggenheim  2012-05-07 13:49:55  Popularity Index:0  Source:Internet

The City of Helsinki has narrowly voted to reject plans for a £114 million Guggenhim Museum on the city’s waterfront.

The city board yesterday voted eight to seven against proceeding with the ambitious plan, largely because they feared it would be too expensive for the city.

If the mayor of Helsinki, Jussi Pajunen, had got his way an open competition would have been held to appoint an architect for the art chain’s fifth outpost.

Pajunen commissioned the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation in January 2011 to explore the feasibility of a new branch, saying: “This is a collaboration that can help Helsinki and Finland prosper in an increasingly interconnected and competitive world.”

Had it gone ahead, Guggenheim Helsinki would have had the strongest focus yet on architecture and design.

But opponents, including the Finnish culture minister, argued that Finnish taxpayers should not have to finance a “rich, multinational foundation” at a time of austerity.

As well as the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed New York original, there are “affiliates” in Bilbao, Venice and Berlin, plus the delayed Abu Dhabi gallery designed by Frank Gehry.