Financial watchdogs step in at Groningen's struggling museum

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Groningen’s troubled museum of modern art is to be subjected to tighter financial control after losing more than €1 billion in the last year.

The provincial administration and the city council have each appointed a financial supervisor to the Groninger Museum, which receives annual subsidies totaling €4.5 billion.

Cultural subsidies for the arts have come under heavy pressure under the centre-right coalition government’s austerity programme.

The two supervisors will monitor how the subsidy, which is due to be cut by €300,000 from 2013, is spent.

City councilman Piet de Vey Mestdagh, of the centre-left D66 party, said: “Past events have made this necessary. This measure is in the interests of the Groninger Museum for the city and its environs.”

The museum, which moved into its eye-catching current home in 1994, has struggled financially since undergoing a rebuilding programme which overshot its budget by €600,000.

In April this year the management secured a loan from the city council, which owns the building, of E700,000 – still leaving a hole in its finances of €300,000.

Source: Dagblad van het Noorden: Extra toezicht op directie Groninger Museum
Photo by Jonas Hansel

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