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Vote: To Guggenheim or not to Guggenheim in Cape Town?




Much has been documented and written about the Bibao effect and its transformational impact on the small Spanish City, one of Cape Town’s competitors in becoming the 2014 World Design Capital. The article entitled, Building a world-class city: how the Bilbao effect could work in South Africa , which appeared in The Daily Maverick on 14 April 2011, explores The Bilbao effect to some degree from a Johannesburg perspective.

Bread before roses, say you? Bilbao reminds us that moribund tax revenues don’t finance social safety nets. Lots and lots of tax dollars do. And when property rates rise, tourists stream in and big private building projects want to cosy up to the glow of a great cultural compound a la the Gehry Guggenheim, the bread takes care of itself. Cities cannot grow if they are not nurtured. South Africa spent the last decade thinking in terms of the World Cup. Now it’s time to look ahead, and keep building. – Richard Poplak

Do you think building an iconic museum in Cape Town, Guggenheim or other, would be a positive investment in attracting more tourists and more importantly, in our broader economy?

Images by

André-Pierre André-Pierre du Plessis