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Kunsthaus Zürich becomes Switzerland's largest art museum after electorate approves project
Henri Matisse, Intérieur à Collioure (La Sieste), 1905. Oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm. Collection Werner and Gabrielle Merzbacher © Succession Henri Matisse / 2012 ProLitteris, Zurich.
ZURICH.- Zurich’s electorate today approved the project to extend the Kunsthaus Zürich, with 53.9 percent voting in favour. From 2017, the building designed by David Chipperfield Architects will create space for a dynamic, regularly changing presentation of the collection of post-1960 art, attractive temporary exhibitions, and the new specialism of French painting and Impressionism.

The result of the popular vote on 25 November 2012 is a major success for the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft – the association that runs the Kunsthaus Zürich. The voting figures – 53.9 percent for and 46.1 percent against – represent a clear majority for the idea of a museum for art and audiences in the 21st century.

A NEW HOME FOR THE BÜHRLE COLLECTION
The extension will focus mainly on art created since the 1960s, and allows for a wide variety of exhibition formats – from new media, prints and drawings and photography to paintings, installations and sculptures – with regularly changing presentations offering an exciting contrast to the self-contained, classical galleries housing the private Bührle Collection. The latter’s arrival will create a new specialism – French painting and Impressionism – and make the Kunsthaus the most important centre for such art in Europe outside the museums in Paris.

DYNAMIC PRESENTATION OF THE COLLECTION, MORE VISITORS
With the increased attractiveness that the extension brings, the Kunsthaus is forecasting a rise in visitor numbers to around 400,000 a year from 2017 onwards. Improvements will include the scope for larger-scale presentations in the existing building, with more space for Swiss art, especially Alberto Giacometti. Technically innovative exhibition design in the new temporary exhibitions area, the art garden and an electronic media laboratory will combine to make a visit to the Kunsthaus an even more absorbing and interactive experience.

HIGH LEVEL OF PRIVATE FUNDING
Funding will come from both private individuals and the public purse. The Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft (ZKG) itself is providing CHF 88 million, the largest private contribution ever made to an art museum in Switzerland. In addition to a matching contribution of CHF 88 million from the City of Zurich, CHF 30 million are to come from the cantonal lottery fund. Including reserves, the construction investment adds up to CHF 206 million.



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