Bilboa Faces Its Own Financial Problems
According to Australia’s The Age:
The Basque regional parliament has convened a special session next week to decide who is politically accountable for the problems.
The museum’s former financial director, Roberto Cearsolo, is on trial for embezzling 500,000 euros ($A1 million) in the past decade, a misjudged currency deal cost the museum 7 million euros, and there are claims of overpayment for pieces in the permanent collection, such as Jeff Koons’ emblematic flowering Puppy.
Officials at the museum are quick to play down the impact of the financial problems. “The museum is in perfect shape financially,” countered Juan Ignacio Vidarte, director of the Guggenheim Bilbao since its inception. He said the former financial director had already repaid 80 per cent of the amount embezzled.
The reason for the sudden political storm, he said, was that, in the run-up to regional elections next year, opposition parties were trying to make the showpiece of the Basque Government look bad.