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BMW, Guggenheim Cancel Berlin Lab Project on Violence Threats

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BMW Guggenheim Lab
A collage of the planned BMW Guggenheim Lab in Berlin. The project, scheduled to start in May, was canceled after left-wing activists in the Kreuzberg district threatened to disrupt it. Source: BMW Guggenheim Lab/Atelier Bow-Wow via Bloomberg

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Threats by left-wing activists in Berlin prompted New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to cancel a planned stop in the city’s Kreuzberg district for its mobile laboratory, the BMW Guggenheim Lab.

The project, sponsored by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, was scheduled to travel to nine cities worldwide over six years to encourage debate and proposals for the future of urban life. It was due to open in Berlin on May 24.

“This decision was made as a consequence of threats to the project,” the BMW Guggenheim Lab said in a statement. Police and local authorities said there was an elevated risk, it said.

Left-wing activists used the Internet to urge protesters to “derail” the project, according to the daily Tagesspiegel newspaper. Their protest was that the project would accelerate the gentrification of Kreuzberg, leading to higher rents and new luxury residential developments, the newspaper said.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab mobile project will now move elsewhere, the release said, though it didn’t specify where.

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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