Herzog & de Meuron to design new museum of modern art in Calcutta

If all goes to plan, the gallery should open by 2013

LONDON. Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have been selected to design an ambitious new museum of modern art in Calcutta (Kolkata) scheduled to open in 2013. They were chosen from a shortlist which included Frank Gehry (US) and David Adjaye (UK).

The new 300,000 sq. ft Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMoMA) will rise in Rajarhat, a suburb of the city. It will house a collection of Indian art dating from the 19th century to today. Sections devoted to Far Eastern and Western art are also planned.

“The collection will be built up gradually through local and international donors and through special endowments,” says Rakhi Sarkar, managing trustee of KMoMA and director of the commercial gallery CIMA

“KMoMA’s content will be built and programmed by joining hands with about 15 museums of the [West Bengal] region, major museums across India and some of the finest museums abroad,” she added.

The estimated Rs2.1bn ($50m) budget of the new museum will be funded by a tripartite public-private partnership between the Indian government, the government of West Bengal and the private sector.

The state of West Bengal has pledged Rs1.2bn ($32m). Central government has promised a one-off grant to the project with the amount to

be confirmed. “The artist community of India has already donated over Rs35m ($830,000),” said Ms Sarkar.

The museum’s board of trustees include Indian artists Ganesh Pyne and Paritosh Sen along with the chairman of India tobacco giant ITC, Y.C. Deveshwar. Andrea Rose, director of visual arts at the British Council, is an advisory board member along with the former US ambassador to India, Frank Wisner.

Herzog & de Meuron’s other current projects include the $400m extension for Tate Modern, due to open by 2012, and the Miami Art Museum scheduled to open in 2011.

Gareth Harris

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