Rotterdam Museum Will Begin Renting Public Space to Private Collectors

Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans van Beuningen will rent out 10 percent of its new Public Art Depot—an open art storage facility—to private collectors. The Rotterdam City Council voted in favor of constructing the reflective, bowl-shaped depot in the fall of 2015. Designed by architecture firm MVRDV, the almost $60 million facility is expected to open in 2018.

According to the Art Newspaper’s Gareth Harris, the director of the museum, Sjarel Ex, said he has already spoken to more than sixty European collectors, and six are on board. To be considered, all collectors must be approved by the museum staff and commit to storing their work in the space for a minimum of five years.

Storage space at the depot will be priced between $400 and $450 per square meter, but the museum is offering more amenities. At an extra cost, the museum will provide collection management services including the facilitation of loans and generation of condition reports. Upon the individual collector’s approval, visitors to the storage facility will be allowed to view their works.

Besides viewing private collections, Ex said “for the first time, anywhere in the world, a museum’s entire collection will be accessible to the public.” Currently, the museum’s galleries are only capable of displaying 7 percent of its collection at one time. The new depot will also possibly feature a freeport.

Twenty-two million dollars of funding for the project is coming from the social investment fund Stichting De Verre Bergen while another almost $3 million will be provided by the city and the rest will come from admission and the collector’s rental fees.