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Guggenheim Foundation and Abu Dhabi Plan Museum There

The government of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced yesterday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Guggenheim Foundation to build a 300,000-square-foot museum in Abu Dhabi to be designed by Frank Gehry.

The museum, to be called the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, would house Modern and contemporary art and serve as the linchpin of a sprawling development in a new cultural district of Saadiyat (Arabic for "isle of happiness"), a 10-square-mile natural island just off Abu Dhabi.

Government officials hope that the island will become a center of vibrant activity, with residential housing, hotels, restaurants and a golf course, as well as a national museum, a classical art museum, a maritime museum, a performing arts center and a park. They predict that the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be completed by 2011.

As outlined, the museum would be the largest of the Guggenheim's outposts, 25 percent larger than the titanium-clad Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain, which Mr. Gehry also designed. "This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Guggenheim to become involved in the Middle East," said Thomas Krens, director of the Guggenheim Foundation. "Our challenge now is to define the next generation of Guggenheim Museums."

Since he joined the Guggenheim in 1988, Mr. Krens has been praised, criticized and imitated for his vision of creating a worldwide network of Guggenheims. Not all of his plans to open satellites by world-class architects have borne fruit.

A planned Guggenheim in Taiwan by the architect Zaha Hadid never materialized because the local government of Taichung could not raise the money; a proposed Guggenheim in Rio de Janeiro to be designed by Jean Nouvel was abandoned last year. The city of Guadalajara, Mexico, is struggling to raise funds for a Guggenheim created by the Mexican architect Enrique Norten. The Guggenheim and the Pompidou Center in Paris are discussing building a museum in Hong Kong.

The development arm of Abu Dhabi's tourism authority will assume the costs of building and operating the new museum, though officials declined to put a figure on how much it would cost.

And just as the Guggenheim in New York oversees the running of Bilbao, its officials would manage the Abu Dhabi museum's programs and education initiatives. They would also oversee an acquisitions program financed by Abu Dhabi.

полный адрес материала : http://www.gif.ru/themes/society/saudi-guggenheim/nyt/

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