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Bilbao's Art Scene and the “Guggenheim effect” Revisited

Beatriz Plaza (), Manuel Tironi and Silke N. Haarich

European Planning Studies, 2009, vol. 17, issue 11, 1711-1729

Abstract: The article analyzes the effects of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (GMB), adopting a new research perspective and trying to pursue the links between the museum and Bilbao's art scene. Until now, the impact of the museum has been analyzed from two different perspectives. The first focused on the urban development and regeneration aspects and the success of the museum as a tourist magnet and an image-making device. The second perspective concentrated on the direct economic benefits of the museum, i.e. direct returns and effects on the economy. The missing lens in previous analyses, however, was the impact of the museum on the city's art landscape, including the art support activities. In this context, the article describes for the first time in a detailed way how the GMB has contributed to the shaping and propulsion of changes on commercial and non-profit art spaces in Bilbao. Although it is clear that other factors may play a role, it can be asserted that the effects of the museum are not only limited to an increase in tourism or fiscal return, but also contribute to the development and spatial articulation of the local art scene and public support of the arts.

Date: 2009
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DOI: 10.1080/09654310903230806

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