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A Helsinki Guggenheim? We don’t want it

In 2011, when the citizens of Helsinki were asked about the construction of a Guggenheim museum, 50% had said “yes”. Today, three out of four residents are opposed. A major factor is certainly the economic crisis. The survey, published in the local newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat”, was conducted on the basis of the feasibility study for the project. The study explores the construction of a large building (12,000 square meters) in the centre of the capital for a total amount of approximately 140 million Euros, then there is the 14.5 million per year in management and tax to be paid to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for using the name. Currently 75% of citizens oppose the museum, but the figure is predicted to rise (up to 92%) if the construction costs are expected to be paid for by the town, and therefore the citizens. The budget estimate for 2014 is not good, considering the debt of Helsinki corresponds to about 2 billion Euros. 84% of respondents know that these funds could instead be used to fund local projects such as community libraries, a museum of Finnish history or to strengthen the existing institutions. Decisions are expected to be made by the Soloman R. Guggenheim Foundation and the city of Helsinki in April.