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(Credit: Naotake Murayama)

Art

Guggenheim set to expand to Spanish Nature Reserve

The Guggenheim in Bilbao is set to follow through on long-drawn plans to expand into a Spanish Nature Reserve to help lend its might to conservation and environmental causes with an ecologically sustainable museum.

Alongside the Biscay province’s government, the museum is planning to invest 40 million Euros (£33.5million) towards the expansion of the Urdaibai, which is a protected reserve of profound biological importance. 

The project first came to the fore in 2008 when plans were drawn up for a 53,800-square-foot space on the outskirts of the Urdaibai. However, it would seem that things will finally get moving. 

The project looks to bring an estimated 148,000 visitors to the area annually and 900 jobs to the region. However, it has had its detractors because even though it has touted environmentalism at its heart, many have wondered whether development should be avoided in an area of such ecological importance.

Speaking about the project, Richard Armstrong, the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, commented that the project is set to make the Urdaibai expansion the “first important museum of the 21st century.”

Adding that it “would not be an architectural icon, but a landscape one,” as it looks to blend into the stunning scenery of the area and promote environmentalism as a result.

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