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Guggenheim In Helsinki? Museum's Foundation Proposes New Location

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HELSINKI -- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on Tuesday proposed building a museum in the Finnish capital after a yearlong feasibility study.

The organization said that the board of trustees approved the study last month.

"The board's enthusiastic support reflects its conviction that moving forward to the next stage of the project would strengthen the Guggenheim network," the report said. "It ... (will) make an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of the Nordic and Baltic regions."

The 190-page study was commissioned in January 2011 by the mayor of Helsinki at a cost of $2.5 million.

"Finland's tradition of innovation and design and its cutting-edge technology could be helpful," said Juan Ignacio Vidarte, head of the foundation's global strategies.

City councilors are expected to decide on the $180 million (euro140 million) project in February. If approved, the earliest the museum could open in the city of 600,000 people would be in 2017.

The total area of the museum, to be built on the waterfront in central Helsinki, would be about 129,000 square feet (12,000 square meters) with 42,000 square feet (3,920 square meters) for exhibition galleries.

The organization has several museums worldwide, including in Germany, Italy, Spain and one under construction in Abu Dhabi.

(This version CORRECTS Updates with comment, details. Corrects year of commission date to 2011. This story is part of AP's general news and entertainment services.)

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