Bilbao Guggenheim Expansion Meets With Political Opposition


Political tension concerning the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao intensified following the museum's announcement in late 2009 that it planned to build a new museum in Urdaibai area. The Basque government, particularly Secretary of Culture Blanca Urgell, was strongly opposed to the extension plan allegedly because of a financial controversy involving the museum. Early in 2010, she commissioned Madrid law firm Ramón y Cajal to investigate the museum's financial management. In April, the firm reported on possible mismanagement by Juan Ignacio Vidarte, director of the Bilbao Guggenheim, involving the museum's financial transactions to acquire artworks.

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