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Deutsche Bank, Guggenheim to Close Berlin Art Space

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Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation today announced plans to close the Deutsche Guggenheim contemporary-art exhibition space on Berlin’s Unter den Linden.

Neither Deutsche Bank nor the Guggenheim Foundation gave a reason for the decision in statements sent by e-mail, beyond saying that their contract expires at the end of 2012. In the past 14 years, the Deutsche Guggenheim has hosted 57 exhibitions and attracted 1.8 million visitors.

Deutsche Bank plans to use the space on Berlin’s central boulevard as a forum “for intensified dialogue between the business and political worlds,” Josef Ackermann, the bank’s chief executive officer, said in its statement.

The bank and the foundation together commissioned artworks from 17 artists that were exhibited in Berlin, New York and Bilbao. Among them were Jeff Koons, William Kentridge, Jeff Wall, Bill Viola, Rachel Whiteread and Anish Kapoor.

“We feel the time is now right to step back and re-examine our collaboration, to see how it might evolve,” Richard Armstrong, director of the Guggenheim museum and foundation, said in an e-mailed statement.

Deutsche Bank has one of the world’s largest corporate art collections, with more than 56,000 works. Artists represented in the collection include Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Andreas Gursky.

To contact the reporter on the story: Catherine Hickley in Berlin at chickley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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