Warsaw. The Museum of Modern Art will run the city? Council members agreed to such a solution

Warsaw wants to acquire the Museum of Modern Art, which is being built in Plac Defilad, from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Council members adopted a decision in this regard during the session on Thursday. At the same time, the city will withdraw from funding the National Museum of Technology. The resolution initiated the formal process of transformations in both institutions. City Hall reports that talks are underway regarding the final direction of the changes.

One of the items on the agenda of the Warsaw Council session on Thursday, May 12, was a draft resolution on approving the takeover of the Museum of Modern Art from the Ministry of Culture. In the afternoon, the city council announced that council members voted for it. The planned changes to the facility’s ownership structure were announced on Tuesday by, among others, “Gazeta Stołeczna”.

MSN is jointly operated by the Ministry and the local government

In justifying the decision, the authors asserted that the museum takeover was justified on two grounds. First of all, the city provides a temporary seat for a facility in Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie, and is also responsible for the construction of a new seat – in Plac Defilad. “The city has been involved in a significant investment process. During the term of the contract, the city, while fulfilling the duties of the co-host of the museum, incurred total costs of approximately 644.5 million PLN”, we read in the justification.

Moreover, as indicated, MSN “is firmly in the cultural map of Warsaw”. “Apart from the exhibition activity, it is a space for dialogue that transcends the field of art. The themes dealt with by the museum often relate to the identity of the city and its inhabitants, and allow to perceive the capital from different perspectives. The museum has become a showcase for the capital ”- it is emphasized in the document.

MSN is currently operating under an agreement concluded on October 30, 2006. According to its provisions, it is the Ministry of Culture that funds the current activity of the museum, but the city is responsible for the headquarters.

Vice President: The city will be able to finance the operation of the museum

According to “Gazeta Stołeczna”, the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafai Trzaskovsky, started talks about the acquisition with the ministry a few months ago. The construction of the museum is fully funded by the local government. Warsaw’s vice-president, Aldona Machnowska Gora, in charge of culture, told “Stołeczna” that diluting responsibility for its management between two entities – state and local government – would not lead to the proper functioning of MSN.

In the event of a takeover of the facility, the city will be obligated to bear all costs related to its operation. And this – as the newspaper calculates – is estimated at 20 million zlotys per year. Machnowska-Góra ensured that the city was prepared for such expenditures.

The decision states that work is underway between the two parties to develop the content of the contract. – I hope that the negotiations will be successful – said Rafael Trzaskovsky during the press conference on Tuesday. – That’s right, it means additional operating costs for us, but if such a colossal expense is incurred (for construction – editor), then it is worth the host of this place to be the one who built the museum – the head of the museum added capital.

They are planning changes to the Museum of Technology

At the same time, City Hall informed that changes to MSN will also necessitate transfers to the National Museum of Technology. “The capital announces that it will withdraw from funding the National Museum of Technology, on the condition that it continues to provide preferential lease terms for the buildings in the Palace of Culture and Science, where the NMT is currently located. It was created” – explained in the launch.

The National Museum of Technology was established on 9 June 2017 as a joint cultural institution between the Minister for Culture and National Heritage and the Minister for Science and Higher Education (now MEiN) and the City of Warsaw. The facility continues the legacy of the Museum of Technology and Industry, which has struggled with financial problems for years. In June 2016, the administration of the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science, where the museum is located, terminated the lease – the reason being the indebtedness of the facility, which included, among other things, arrears in rent payments. At the end of 2016, the management of the Palace of Culture and Science invited the museum to empty the rooms it had occupied. At the beginning of 2017, the Main Council of the Union of Scientific and Technical Societies of the Supreme Technical Authority, which runs the museum, made a decision to liquidate the facility. Then it was agreed to establish the National Museum of Technology, which will be run by the ministries and the city.

As reported on tvnwarszawa.pl, in February, the facility was opened to visitors after a long break.

What will be in the new exhibition?Matthew Szilter, tvnwarszawa.pl

The Museum of Modern Art is under construction behind the theater building

Delayed establishment of MSN headquarters. Originally, it was supposed to be completed at the end of 2022, but works will likely extend into the second quarter of 2023. The delay in the schedule – as explained by the city council – has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and its collision with municipal facilities discovered during construction. Today, the building in Plac Defilad has already reached the target height.

MSN bench is a simple shape, it will have a very bright facade, and the ground floor will be transparent glass. There will be a gallery with ever-changing exhibits and a bookstore. The main exhibition spaces will be provided on the first and second floors. There are also plans to build educational rooms, a library, auditorium, cinemas and cafes. Next to (near the Palace of Culture and Science), the dark TR Warszawa building will be erected. Together they will form the letter L. Originally, the facilities were to be built simultaneously, but work on the theater has not yet begun.

American architect Thomas Pfeiffer, who collaborates with Polish architects from APA Studio Wojciechowski, is responsible for the design of both.

Main image source: TVN Warsaw

Leave a Comment