Did you hear about Victoria and Albert Museum‘s expansion? Quite interesting, isn’t it? The institution is going to be part of the hypermuseums club, by trying to open a new branch in Scotland….
The City of Dundee is expected to become a new Bilbao, as all the cities that tried to replicate the spanish case history hoped to. “Dundee’s supporters, including the city’s Labour and Scottish National party MPs, believe it would help drive the city’s economic regeneration“, said the journalist. Sounds familiar?!?!
But the real problem, as we’re always saying, is: what is the strategic project behind this expansion? What is the museum’s ambition?
“V&A at Dundee will be Scotland’s leading centre for design, housed in a stunning new building at the heart of Dundee’s waterfront. It will showcase Scottish design talent and provide a venue for the V&A’s major international touring exhibitions”, said the museum.
Take a look at the partners: “V&A at Dundee is being delivered by Dundee Design Ltd. – a partnership between the V&A, the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise“.
But what is the main theme about the project? The architecture of course. If the description of the museum’s mission and vision took just a couple of lines to be described, the most interesting subject seems to be which architecture firm is going to win the competition, as you can see in the description of the project.
And what about the raising of the £45m needed to complete the site? They are tough to find but it seems to be a minor topic…
“The future of the Dundee plan hinges on whether the Scottish government will support it when the budget is fixed. The project needs £15m from the devolved government and similar amounts from European and lottery funds, and from private sector donors”. So, even if there no assurance on the funding the name of the architects is already known… Isn’t it like starting from the end?
In fact, Lesley Knox, chair of the project board, confirmed it was still far from clear whether the money would be available given the heavy public spending cuts. “Everybody has we’ve made compelling case, but it’s tough times and therefore until the decision is made, we can’t prejudge that,” she said. “All I can say is we’ve worked our tails off to make sure we’ve made our case, and the feedback has been positive.”
The reader can make his own conclusions about this sentence…
And what about that residual thing called the collection???
“The V&A in Dundee will not house a permanent V&A collection and the parent museum will not meet any of Dundee’s costs. But it has signed a 20-year deal to send two or three travelling exhibitions there each year.”
Is this all about? A stunning architectural spot for temporary exhibition still without sufficient financial cover? Is there any other solution???