Bloomberg News

BMW, Guggenheim Move Berlin Lab Project After Violence Threats

April 03, 2012

New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation said it has found an alternative venue in Berlin for its mobile laboratory, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, after left-wing activists threatened violence against its original plan to set up in the district of Kreuzberg.

The project, sponsored by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), is scheduled to travel to nine cities worldwide over six years to encourage debate and proposals for the future of urban life. Instead of opening in Kreuzberg in May, it will now open in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district from June 15 to July 29, according to an e-mailed statement sent today by the foundation.

“The decision to relocate the lab was not an easy one, but we are very pleased to have so quickly confirmed such a suitable alternative,” Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation said in the statement. “The lab can only flourish through input and participation from people of all viewpoints, so in that sense the Berlin Lab has already begun.”

Left-wing activists used the Internet to urge protesters to disrupt the project, according to the daily Tagesspiegel newspaper. Their protest was that the project would accelerate the gentrification of Kreuzberg, leading to higher rents and new luxury residential developments, the newspaper said.

The new location is the Pfefferberg on Schoenhauser Allee, a former industrial complex that now houses artists’ studios, galleries and restaurants.

To contact the reporter on the story: Catherine Hickley in Berlin at chickley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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