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Sunday20 August 2017

Artists may boycott Gehry's Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

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Artists are threatening to boycott Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi because of working conditions at the site.

According to the New York Times more than 130 artists are proposing a boycott of the museum on Saadiyat Island, which is just beginning construction.

Guggenheim Foundation director Richard Armstrong told the paper: “While we share the artists’ concern for the workers, we believe that, in light of the steady progress that has been made with respect to recruitment fees, the prompt payment of wages, the ability to retain passports, the provision of health insurance, good living accommodations, and the imminent appointment of an independent monitor in May, their statement is misinformed.”

He added that workers’ rights had improved following a collaboration between the foundation and Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC).

This includes a construction village on Saadiyat Island built by the TDIC for labourers to live in.

An artists’ boycott could pose difficulties for the museum, which is trying to amass a collection of works.

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