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HYY: More culture, less Guggenheim!


Statement 13th Feb 2012

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) demands that the City of Helsinki provides diverse cultural services attainable to all city residents. Therefore, HYY opposes the planned Guggenheim project which has been promoted rather from the starting points of the economic life than culture.

HYY reminds that the range of art in the metropolitan area is already at a high level even by international standards. From the art perspective, the Guggenheim brand's added value would thus be minor compared to the investment it requires. If the project is implemented, city residents' cultural services would rather change for the worse as Helsinki Art Museum, which offers high-quality public cultural services and presentation opportunities for the local art, would be discontinued. ”Does the city really want to pay 140 million euro for the pleasure that it may privatise its well-functioning public service?”, asks Chair of HYY Board Jannica Aalto.

Guggenheim would better respond to the needs of tourists than those of the city residents. In HYY's opinion, Helsinki should primarily use the resources that are directed to culture for producing new experiences that would bring well-being to city residents. This objective would be carried out better and at lower costs than Guggenheim by giving up the entrance fees in the city's art museums either for specific groups or altogether. HYY also wishes to remind that Helsinki's Cultural Strategy 2012–2017 has committed to support the organisation of proper facilities for cinema and dance. In addition, it is important to finally construct the centre library in Helsinki, which would be a real cultural centre for city residents. HYY is concerned that after the investments required by the Guggenheim project, there would no longer be assets for these cultural projects.

"The city can best activate its residents and improve their well-being by offering the general public free cultural services. Students feel that it is also important to support new art forms. The Guggenheim project does not address these needs and it would be, above all, a risk investment made from the basis of industrial policy”, Aalto summarises.


Jannica Aalto            Katariina Styrman
Chair of the Board        Secretary General

Further information: Board Member Matti Lehto, tel. 050 325 8041

Read more about HYY's urban policy objectives for the years 2012–2015