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European Central Bank launches competition to design site-specific works of art for its new premises

10 March 2014
  • The European Central Bank will invite selected artists to design works of art for its new premises
  • A selection committee of internationally renowned art experts will nominate artists from all Member States of the European Union
  • Winners to be announced in autumn 2014

The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched a competition to design site-specific works of art for its new premises. The works of art are to complement the new premises, which will be both a contemporary architectural landmark and a symbol of the euro and the European Union.

Three different locations have been identified for the artworks. They were chosen on the basis of their suitability for accommodating, and ensuring the visibility of, large, representative art installations. The locations are:

  1. Grossmarkthalle: outside the main entrance;
  2. double office tower: ground floor on the eastern side of the atrium;
  3. Grossmarkthalle: foyer of the conference area.

In order for there to be a conceptual link between the works of art and the ECB, the theme of the competition is “stability and independence”, a synthesis of two cornerstones of the ECB. These concepts and their interpretations in an artistic context are to be approached taking into account the EU’s guiding principle of “united in diversity”.

The competition will comprise two stages. During the first stage, a selection committee of internationally renowned art experts will draw up, for each location, a list of artists from all EU Member States who fulfil selection criteria laid down in the competition rules. Among other things, the artists must hold a professional qualification and have worked on comparable art projects within the past ten years. The competition has been organised in this way to ensure, as far as possible, that at least one artist from each Member State takes part in the first stage.

From these lists, a jury made up of internationally renowned art experts and representatives of the European System of Central Banks, as well as a representative from the architects’ office that designed the new premises, will draw up a shortlist of artists to be invited to take part in the second stage. These artists will be asked to develop a design for a work of art to be installed at one of the three locations. The jury will select the best design from those submitted for each location using the following criteria:

  • overall artistic concept;
  • suitability in terms of the location;
  • feasibility in terms of the technical and budgetary requirements.

Each artist who participates in the second stage and submits a valid proposal will receive a lump sum of €5,000 to cover costs incurred.

On the basis of the jury’s recommendations, the ECB will award one contract per location to the artist who has submitted the best design.

The results of the competition are expected to be announced in autumn 2014 and will be published on the ECB’s website.

For media queries, please contact Andrea Jürges, tel.: +49 69 1344 8334.

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