The Guggenheim Makes Moves To Expand Into A Spanish Nature Reserve
By Nicole Rodrigues, 03 Aug 2022
The proposed plans will see the museum being set up in an unused cutlery factory in Guernica and a shipyard in Murueta. Connecting the two new locations to the original Guggenheim Bilbao will be ‘El Correo’—or the corridor—which is a tunnel that will link the museums together.
Deia, a news outlet in Biscay, reported this week that the budget for the project would amount to €127 million (US$129 million).
Plans for the expansion began as early as 2008 when the governing body of the museum was already looking at Urdaibai for the expansion. However, the project was put on hold as the Basque region as a whole fell into economic despair and could not uphold the promise of the expansion.
On the Guggenheim’s part, the organization focused on building museums in Abu Dhabi—which will be ready in 2025—and even one in Helsinki before the Finnish government scrapped the move.
According to ARTnews, Biscay government officials have described the new museum as “important” to Biscay society. In the same report, the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, Robert Armstrong, said in 2008 that the project could potentially be one of the most significant museums of the 21st century.
The Urdaibai extension is set to introduce 148,000 visitors annually to the region and open 900 jobs for the locals.
It isn’t currently known how the construction would affect the ecosystem and the people living near the estuary. However, the Biscay government made a statement saying that it would not cause any environmental harm.
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