Wed, Jul 16, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Hu makes pitch for Guggenheim museum

By Huang Zih-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Architects Patrik Schumacher, left, Zaha Hadid, second left, Tseng Cheng-de, a teacher in the Department of Architecture at Tunghai University, second right, and Deputy Taichung Mayor Hsiao Chia-Chi yesterday display the model of the Guggenheim Museum Taichung during a press conference in Taipei.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

In a bid to promote a proposed Guggenheim museum for Taichung, Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) yesterday held a press conference to present an architectural model of the facility.

"Culture is a good business. We hope that the Guggenheim Museum Taichung can not only revitalize Taichung City but also bring profit to the city," Hu said.

Looking at the success of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, which opened in 1997, Hu said that both citizens and the city council support a museum in Taichung.

The budget for the proposed museum in Taichung is NT$6 billion.

"The central government has promised to cover half of the budget and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has also twice confirmed the government's promise in public," Hu said.

Hu said a feasibility study of the proposed museum has yet to be finished.

Architect Zaha Hadid, who designed the Taichung museum, said in the press conference that the museum is based on the concept of an ever-changing event space and emphasized the changeability of the venue.

Hadid hopes to explore equipping the museum with "stage-machinery" by connecting many mobile pieces.

"Taichung is an active city, and I would like to combine such dynamic characteristics with the Guggenheim Museum Taichung," Hadid said.

With the Guggenheim expanding into Bilbao and Berlin, Guggenheim Foundation director Thomas Krens has been accused of cultural hegemony and invasion.

"We don't intend to dominate the culture of any specific nation. What we want is to cooperate with different cultures," Krens said.

"Internationality exists -- that you cannot deny."

The Guggenheim Foundation will make the final decision on whether to create the museum in Taichung at the end of August.

Guggenheim museums specialize in contemporary art.

Deputy Taichung Mayor Hsiao Chia-Chi (蕭家旗), Religion Museum curator Han Pao-teh (漢寶德), National Taiwan University professor Hsia Chu-joe (夏鑄九) also participated in the conference.

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