Tiroler Tageszeitung, editorial, issue of May 31, 2023. By MARKUS SCHRAMEK. “Last chance for the Ferdinandeum”.

Innsbruck (OTS) LH Mattle has come out of cover to stand by the newly revised state museum remodeling cost. This urgently needs a new image if it doesn’t want to degenerate into a monument.

Hand on heart: Who shouts “Let’s go to the Ferdinandeum!” when the family council is discussing the upcoming leisure program? And that’s exactly the problem: it’s neither cool nor chic nor trendy for the general public to head for the large museum building on Innsbruck’s Museumstrasse. No matter how hard the exhibition organizers can work to attract new and younger audiences with their offerings. In the current “Odor” show, even special fragrances are used as attractants. There is little to see, but the smells are all the stronger.
The Ferdinandeum is crying out for new beginnings and opening up, if it doesn’t want to degenerate into a little-noticed monument. The founding association was 200 years old this year. A big party was planned. Now this turned out to be manageable. You kept to yourself and on a small scale. The long-planned and often-announced renovation of the house should have been finished by now, as an anniversary gift. However, the project that has existed for a long time has not even been tackled.
So one has become modest when it comes to the keyword Ferdinandeum. So it’s good news that the state and the museum have finally agreed on a joint timetable and – even more importantly – a financing plan. As the procrastination and hesitation continued, so did the construction costs. 36 million euros were estimated two years ago, around 50 million a month ago. According to the latest forecast including an increase in the index, the costs for the conversion and renovation of the museum will increase to 59 million by the end of the work in 2027.
You can blame the country for waiting so long. Unnerved by this, the head of the museum, Peter Assmann, threw in the towel last fall, although he was also controversial among his own staff. On the other hand, one can see it positively that the LH Anton Mattle, who is responsible for culture, is not whitewashing with the massively increasing project costs. Estimating the costs far from reality can be nasty, as the debate about the MCI new construction project, which has been going on for years, shows.
59 million is no brainer. They should be worth it to us to get the country’s flagship museum on course after years of wobbling. The art historian Andreas Rudigier will move to the Ferdinandeum in December after a successful career in the vorarlberg museum. With him, a hopefully seaworthy captain was found for the culture tanker. It is now up to newcomer Rudigier to use the last chance for the Ferdinandeum to dust it off and modernize it.

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