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Geneva Public Votes Down Jean Nouvel’s $131 Million Museum Expansion

Six years after its details were first unveiled, Geneva’s plan to enlist architect Jean Nouvel to revamp and expand the regional Musée d’Art et d’Histoire has been narrowly outvoted by 54.3 percent of the public, according to the Art Newspaper’s Nathalie Eggs and Hannah McGivern. Approved by Geneva’s municipal council last year, the $131 million project was to be funded both with private money from French-Swiss patron Jean-Claude Gandur and with sixty-four million dollars in public funds, but it provoked criticism across the political spectrum.

A political coalition that included everything from nationalist conservatives to Communists campaigned against the project, calling it too opaque, reports Telerama. Questions were also raised about Gandur’s involvement, with critics referring to the museum as “a space to his glory.” Finally, some called it “already dated” while preservationists decried the “irreversible disfigurement” of a monument. No one was happy, meanwhile, with the fact that the project’s costs had ballooned from forty million dollars to its current figures.