11 May 2005
In a few years, the Museum of contemporary Art will be erected at the intersection of Marszałkowska and Świętokrzyska streets. The construction of the museum, worth over zl.200 million, will be financed by the city and the national budget. The creators are also hoping for subsidies from the European Union.
Minister of Culture Waldemar Dąbrowski and Deputy Mayor of Warsaw Andrzej Urbański met March 16 at the planned construction site to sign an agreement concerning the investment. It is scheduled to open in 2008.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is meant to diversify Warsaw's list of tourist spots and improve the city's image. When Michał Borowski took office as city architect of Warsaw almost two years ago, he formulated a new concept for developing the very center of Warsaw. His plans included a building devoted to modern art near the Palace of Culture, on Defilad Square. Warsaw's artistic community long felt the need for a building that would house collections of modern art, to date stored at Zachęta Gallery and Ujazdowski Castle. Various locations and concepts were taken into consideration, but no decisions were made regarding a vacant area for the purpose and how the project might be financed. The project accelerated after Warsaw authorities joined in efforts to make the plans reality.
The museum's identity will be determined by its collections. Their character and the time frame of the works to be featured is still under discussion. What is certain is that they should differ from other collections. The success of many newly established museums has been built on the promotion of less well-known artists. Even if controversial, they nonetheless met with interest and attracted a lot of visitors. Other opinions call for a museum that is open to other art genres such as fashion, interior décor, industrial design, architecture, cinema, advertising and propaganda. For now, the museum's exhibit will include national museum collections, acquisitions and Polish and foreign donations as well as works on loan.
Mayor of Warsaw Lech Kaczyński is known for his cultural initiatives. His term has marked the opening of the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising and preparations for the Museum of Communism and the Copernicus Science Center in Powiśle. Kaczyński also supports the creation of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Muranów and has contributed zl.40 million to its implementation. He has now assigned land for the construction of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The director of the latest project-following appointment by the minister of culture-is Tadeusz Zielniewicz, who previously coordinated the revitalization project for the Royal Route. The new director says an international architectural competition will be launched in September with construction of the building to commence next year.