Helsinki rejects Guggenheim plans

Finnish politicians have finally rejected plans to build a new Guggenheim museum in Helsinki. The decision was made by only a narrow vote, with eight to seven of the Helsinki city board going against the EUR 140 million project.

The proposal to build a new contemporary art museum on the city’s waterfront was put to the council in January by the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation. It already runs Guggenheim museums in Venice, Bilbao, New York and Berlin, and another is currently under development in Abu Dhabi.

Since the proposal was first announced, many have come forward to express worries about the expense of the project and how it would be managed. Paavo Arhinmaki, the country’s culture minister, said he had reservations about the scheme, but no reason has yet been given for the council’s rejection.

If given the go-ahead, the museum would have been built on Helsinki’s south harbour, with completion expected sometime in 2018. An architectural completion would have decided the design of the building, as the Guggenheim Foundation is renowned for the contemporary look of its premises.