Crowdfunding a Restoration

John Hill
25. June 2021
Photo: Tim Tregenza/Wikimedia Commons

Puppy, the massive Jeff Koons sculpture that sits proudly in front of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, requires restoration work totaling 100,000€. The Guggenheim is asking the public to fund the work through donations.

Puppy was installed in October 1997, the same year the Frank Gehry-designed museum opened to the public and shook up the world of architecture, creating the phenomenon known as the Bilbao Effect. For whatever reasons — be it a loss of revenue from COVID-19, an unwillingness to maintain an artwork in public, or a realization that people might be willing to pay for a selfie backdrop — the Guggenheim Bilbao is asking visitors to its crowdfunding website to pay for the much-needed restoration. 

Beneath the flowers that change every spring and fall are a steel structure, an irrigation system, and a substrate that holds the plants. According to the website's FAQ: "The money will be used to renovate Puppy’s internal structure. This means repairing or replacing components to ensure optimal conservation." The museum is enticing people with membership benefits above a certain level, a tax deduction for Spanish residents, and "a special digital image of Puppy as a token of our appreciation."

If the Guggenheim Bilbao raises the needed funds, it will carry out the restoration work from September to November 2021.

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