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Architecture and art Facelifts for Swiss museums

The renowned Basel Kunstmuseum opens a new exhibition building this month. The CHF100 million ($108 million) project adds additional space to display contemporary art. The three-storey concrete construction complements the existing museum dating back to 1936.

It is the latest in series of extensions of museums across Switzerland over the past few years. The Lugano Arte e Cultura centre, in the Italian-speaking part of the country, opened its doors last September and was praised for its striking architectural structure and includes a concert hall.

Other institutions in the towns of Aarau, Neuchâtel and Chur have extended or will expand their exhibition space, hoping to provide conditions to display their growing collections. The additions have often been designed by famous architects.

The renovations and extensions come despite public spending cuts and often rely on private sponsors.

The venues seek to attract future generations of art and architectural fans and play a key role in the social and economic transformation of the public space at a local level.

(Picture editor: Thomas Kern, Text: Urs Geiser)

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