Guggenheim Helsinki gains mayoral approval

by Tom Walker | 17 Apr 2012

Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen has formally offered financial backing to plans for the establishment of a fourth European Guggenheim museum in the Finnish capital.

The news comes as no surprise as Pajunen has been among the most vocal supporters of the project, which is headed jointly by the Helsinki City Council and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Pajunen has now outlined a financial package which will see the council provide 2.8m euros (US$3.7m, £2.3m) of public funding in order to secure the museum's license and to create a foundation to run the museum.

Earlier this year, a concept and development study identified a site along the South Harbour waterfront for the museum development.

It has been estimated the mid-range attendance for the cultural attraction will be 500,000-550,000 visitors a year, of which around 300,000 are expected to come from Finnish residents.

The plans for a Guggenheim in Helsinki were first announced in January 2011.

At the time, Pajunen said: "It is widely recognised that cultural destinations can help drive economic growth for a country, provided they are created within an intelligent overall plan for development.

"We have such a plan-and the Guggenheim, as a truly global institution, is the ideal institution to collaborate with us in studying how to realize our goals. This is a collaboration that can help Helsinki and Finland prosper in an increasingly interconnected and competitive world."

There has, however, been widespread opposition to the plans from people living in Helsinki.

According to a poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat, the country's largest newspaper, and conducted by TNS Gallup, 75 per cent of Helsinki residents oppose the plans. Only 19 per cent were in favour.

Image: the proposed site for the museum, the Kanava Terminal Building

Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen has formally offered financial backing to plans for the establishment of a fourth European Guggenheim museum in the Finnish capital. The news comes as no surprise as Pajunen has been among the most vocal supporters of the project, which is headed jointly by the Helsinki City Council and the Guggenheim Foundation. Pajunen has now outlined a financial package which will see the council provide 2.8m euros
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Guggenheim Helsinki gains mayoral approval
Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen has formally offered financial backing to plans for the establishment of a fourth European Guggenheim museum in the Finnish capital.