Guggenheim for Helsinki?

Story by Telegraph.

As a Finn, I am not enthralled. Guggenheim wants license fees. Under this plan, they are guaranteed. By the taxpayer, who is giving a steady source of income for Guggenheim.

The studies alone have cost us a couple of million €. We're not the first one. There was to be another Guggenheim on lower Manhattan. There was to be Guggenheim Rio de Janeiro. For Guggenheim Guadalaraja, the city paid for plans and donated the plot, but it didn't come up. Guggenheim Hermitage Vilnius should be by now up and running but it is not.  Et cetera. Most of these projects have found that the original funding plans were unrealistic, as explained by Alaston kriitikko.

There was Guggenheim Hermitage Las Vegas - now, this plan had an an impressive combination of artistic heritage and money, and they actually built it, but it didn't fly; it was shut down in 2008.

Bilbao is quoted as a success story with so many tourists visiting the city, but I think that the sudden availability of £20 flights for the benefit of  British and other booze cruisers - brought to you by European flight deregulation which happened at the time - to go get some cheap wine is a better explanation than artistic ambitions. I don't say it wouldn't be a nice museum. I just don't trust the business case.

Now, if the funding structure for Guggenheim Helsinki would be built a bit differently, I would be all for it. Just make the contracts so that Guggenheim, not taxpayer, takes the risk. You're OK to use the current calculations for visitors and revenue. Just show them you're serious with them. If the planned numbers of visitors are reached, Guggenheim gets to keep 90 % of additional profits. That'll suit me.

If their numbers are to be trusted, they should have no problem accepting this. If they don't accept, that should tell us something: it could be that those who are behind this plan are keen to take risks, with other people's money, not their own.

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