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Councillors Osku Pajamäki (SDP), Thomas Wallgren (SDP) and Pentti Arajärvi (SDP) were pictured in a meeting of the Helsinki City Council on 30 November, 2016.
Councillors Osku Pajamäki (SDP), Thomas Wallgren (SDP) and Pentti Arajärvi (SDP) were pictured in a meeting of the Helsinki City Council on 30 November, 2016.

The Helsinki City Council voted 53–32 against a proposal for funding the construction of Guggenheim Helsinki after an exhaustive debate that dragged on into the early hours of Thursday.

“We are disappointed that the Helsinki City Council has decided not to allocate funds for the proposed Guggenheim Helsinki museum, in effect bringing this project to a close,” says Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation have agreed not to draw up another proposal for funding the museum project, Ari Wiseman, the deputy director of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, says to Helsingin Sanomat.

Ritva Viljanen, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Cultural Affairs at the City of Helsinki, similarly told YLE that the project has now been brought to a close.

Armstrong also expressed his gratitude to the many supporters of the project – from the local government to industry leaders, arts professionals and engaged citizens – and to the City Council for considering the project fairly and thoroughly.

“We are immensely proud of our efforts for the Guggenheim Helsinki, including the many relationships we forged at home and abroad and the open international architectural competition we organised – the largest ever conducted – which contributed greatly to the conversation about the role of museums in the 21st century and the future of Helsinki's waterfront,” he added.

Ari Lahti, the director of the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation, says he hopes the project will – despite its fate – encourage the capital region and the entire country to continue their development. The public debate stirred up by the project, he said, will hopefully provide the courage to envision a forward-looking, international Finland also in the future.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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