Guggenheim faces more protests as officials sever negotiations with Gulf Labor coalition

Construction site of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Gulf Labor Protesters at Guggenheim in May 2015. Photo: Hiroko Masuike, The New York Times

The Guggenheim Foundation has announced it will be breaking off its negotiations with the Gulf Labour Artist Coalition, an artist-led activist group that has been contesting the labour conditions of those involved in the construction of the museum's Abu Dhabi extension, the New York Times reports. The announcement comes after a yearlong process that began after the 2015 May Day occupation of the New York Guggenheim and the ensuing occupation of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice during the Venice Biennale. Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong he felt the discussions with the coalition were 'no longer productive' and that the group 'continues to shift its demands on the Guggenheim beyond the reach of our influence as an arts institution while continuing to spread mistruths about the project and our role in it'.

In response to that statement, the labour protest group Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) – who had agreed to hold off the demonstrations during the negotiation process  – announced they would resume direct actions against the museum in New York and elsewhere. 

20 April 2016.