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The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: Between Regional Embeddedness and Global Networking

Beatriz Plaza () and Silke N. Haarich

European Planning Studies, 2015, vol. 23, issue 8, 1456-1475

Abstract: This paper aims to show the levels of local and regional embeddedness of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (GMB) as well as its effects on the position of Bilbao within global networks. Although it is often said that the GMB as an international art franchise did not fit well with the local traditions, values and culture of Bilbao and the Basque Country, this paper attempts to show that the GMB is quite embedded into the local and regional context of institutions, private agents and policies. This effect increases with the growing recognition of the potential effects of the GMB on the creative and service industry in the Bilbao region. On the other hand, there is also an increasing tendency for Bilbao and the GMB to be included in global networks, as can be demonstrated by the branding effect of the GMB on the attraction of tourists or the increasing importance of the term "Bilbao" in semantic networks. The authors conclude with some recommendations on strengthening both the regional embeddedness and the global networking potential of museums in order to generate positive effects on urban regeneration and regional development .

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2013.817543

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