By Rory Stott
As part of his strategy to solidify the “Olympic Legacy” of East London, Mayor Boris Johnson has recently been focusing on providing the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a little more diversity in its buildings, placing an emphasis on bringing cultural institutions alongside the sports buildings. Now, alongside the V&A’s plans for new galleries and University College London’s proposed design school and cultural centre, The Art Newspaper reports that Johnson is out to grab a headline attraction: London’s own Guggenheim.
Though negotiations are at an early stage, London makes a strong case as the potential home for Guggenheim’s next gallery: not only does London have a strong tourist pull, the Olympics site remains effectively a regeneration project – and art-powered regeneration is something which the Guggenheim has had success with, made famous even, with Frank Gehry’s Bilbao design.
Since Bilbao, though, the Guggenheim’s international expansions have not gone so smoothly: in Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim’s completion date has been pushed back a number of times, and in 2011 artists concerned with the conditions for the construction workers threatened to boycott the museum. In Helsinki, the scrapped then revitalized proposal for a new museum is still controversial. There are also stalled plans in Vilnius and Guadalajara.
Both sides are keeping their cards close to their chest. A spokesperson for the Mayor neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, saying “exploratory discussions with a range of parties are being conducted which remain commercially confidential until a time when further public announcements can be made.”
Story via The Art Newspaper
This article originally appeared at Archdaily on 13 March 2014.