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Foundation makes historic donation to Helsinki's New Architecture and Design Museum

The grant of 20 million euros is the largest private donation ever made to the cultural sector in Finland.

designmuseo
The preparation phase for the New Museum of Architecture and Design is expected to last until the end of 2023. Image: Antti Haanpää / Yle

Private funding for the New Architecture and Design Museum, planned for the capital's South Harbour, has so far reached an "exceptional" level, the City of Helsinki has announced.

The city said three foundations — the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland — have made a conditional commitment to the museum's capitalisation of at least 24 million euros.

The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation's grant of 20 million euros is the largest private donation ever made to the cultural sector in Finland.

In addition to that sum, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland both made preliminary agreements to contribute at least two million euros each.

The City of Helsinki and the Finnish government plan to establish a foundation for the new museum later this year, with the aim of raising at least 150 million euros in capital. The state and the city will each contribute 60 million towards this target, with the remaining 30 million euros raised from private sources.

In March, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the city set up a steering group for the project, which is tasked with preparing and guiding the museum's establishment. The project will be led by Kaarina Gould, currently Executive Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.

The preparation phase is expected to last until the end of 2023, when the final decisions on the implementation of the project will be made.

A separate architecture competition is planned for the design of the museum.

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