Mon, Dec 13, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan may invest too late

By Kenneth Choy

While the Taichung City Council and the Executive Yuan are weighing the potential financial burden of hosting a branch of the Guggenheim Museum ("Cabinet evasive about Guggenheim branch" Dec. 9, page 2), early last month, Thomas Krens, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation reached an agreement with the Bureau of Culture in Beijing to build a branch in Hong Kong.

Even as Taichung and the Cabinet play their game of trying to shift the costs to each other, the foundation has teamed up with the two largest real estate developers in Hong Kong to submit a bid to build a HK$24 billion cultural project in Hong Kong with twice the space as their Bilbao branch in Spain.

In an interview, Krens said that what gives Hong Kong an edge over the other cities is its willingness to invest.

By the time the Taichung City Council and Cabinet resolve their argument, the Hong Kong branch may have been built already.

Kenneth Choy

Hong Kong

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