Briefing

Finland cuts state funding for Guggenheim’s proposed Helsinki museum; Barack Obama to inaugurate new Washington D.C. museum

Artist's rendering of the planned Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland. Courtesy: Moreau Kusunoki/ArteFactoryLab/Guggenheim Foundation/Handout

Artist's rendering of the planned Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland. Courtesy: Moreau Kusunoki/ArteFactoryLab/Guggenheim Foundation/Handout

  • Plans to establish a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki are on the brink of collapse, with the Finnish government rejecting the institution’s suggestion that taxpayers’ money be used to cover USD$45 million of the cost. Sampo Terho, the parliamentary head of the conservative Finns Party, said, ‘We are not opposed to the project as such, we just don't think it is something that the state should participate in.’ Ari Wiseman, deputy director of the Guggenheim Foundation, expressed disappointment, but confirmed that the group will continue to seek alternative funding.
     
  • US President Barack Obama will inaugurate the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. on 24 September, by ringing a bell from a Virginia church that was founded by slaves and free blacks in 1776. The 500-pound bell was restored and is being shipped to the David Adjaye-designed museum by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
     
  • Hamza Walker has been appointed as executive director of Los Angeles non-profit space LAXART, replacing founding director Lauri Firstenberg. Since 1994, Walker has served as associate curator and director of education at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and this year co-curated, with Aram Moshayedi, the ‘Made in L.A.’ biennial at the Hammer Museum. He will assume the position on 1 October. 
     
  • Sergio Pirozzi, the mayor of Italian town Amatrice where 295 people were killed by an earthquake on 24 August 24, has filed a suit against Charlie Hebdo under the charge of defamation. Shortly after the tragedy in Italy, the French publication published a cartoon showing bloodied victims above the caption ‘penne with tomato sauce’. Pirozzi condemned the cartoons, adding: ‘Satire must stir feelings, but a satire about a tragedy that hurt an entire nation … That’s ugly.’ (French)
     
  • Having lost its space on Wooster Street earlier this year, New York’s Swiss Institute has found a long-term home on St Marks Place and Second Avenue in the East Village. The new building, a former Chase bank boasting 7,500-square-feet across three levels and a rooftop, is currently being renovated by Selldorf Architects and will open to the public in spring on 2017.

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