This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Our always-admired The Guardian opened their ‘Travel’ section this week with an article dedicated to Bilbao that took up the entire front cover and two pages. The “excuse” was the twentieth anniversary of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, which is being celebrated this October. The author of the article, Sorrel Downer, is already well known on the blog, thanks to his many articles.
In this report, he proposes a trip to the Basque city, and offers some alternatives to get to know it better.
As we always comment, since it’s impossible to offer every option, we’re sure that each of you has an original proposal to get to know Bilbao better this October. But what matters is that The Guardian has put the city within the reach of millions of readers.
The next day, October 1, the same newspaper published a great article by Rowan Moore deeply analyzing the history of the miracle that one of the greatest marvels of modern architecture got built in Bilbao.
We’ve written a lot about this museum. Just a few days ago, we commented:
This is the 20th anniversary of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. We’ve spoken volumes on this blog about this building that has put the largest Basque city smack-dab in the center of the world. We’ve spoken volumes, and we could speak many more, because we rarely go a day without seeing some reference to the museum in some medium from somewhere in the world.
So, we’re not going to go overboard. But before sharing the articles that inspired this blog entry, we couldn’t resist remembering something we wrote a long time ago, which seems to us to be key to understanding the “miraculous” Bilbao Guggenheim. It’s a miracle that can only be explained by the foresight and capacity of the people who promoted this project against all odds:
Today, we Basques can say that we’ve achieved the impossible. We’ve “stolen” a Big Apple icon from New Yorkers. In 1995, whenever anyone heard “Guggenheim”, they thought of the fascinating building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on Fifth Avenue. Today, however, the word “Guggenheim” more often elicits memories of the Frank Gehry masterpiece in Bilbao.
The Guardian – 30/9/2017 – Gran Bretaña
Bilbao city guide: what to see plus the best restaurants, bars and hotels
This year sees Bilbao celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Guggenheim museum, an institution that brought art and its lovers to the north coast city, and started an urban relaunch in which its industrial past was overlaid with fluttering palms, promenades and a proliferation of wonky, asymmetric, eye-popping glass and steel buildings by many of the world’s best architects – Norman Foster, Philippe Starck, Santiago Calatrava and Arata Isozaki among them.
The Guardian – 1/10/2017 – Gran Bretaña
The Bilbao effect: how Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim started a global craze
When he got to Bilbao a month before it opened, says Frank Gehry, “I went over the hill and saw it shining there. I thought: ‘What the fuck have I done to these people?’” The “it” is the Bilbao Guggenheim museum, which made both its architect Gehry and the Basque city world-famous. Its achievement, measured in much-repeated metrics of visitor numbers and economic uplift, in global recognition and media coverage, in being, in effect, an Instagram sensation long before anyone knew what that might be, is prodigious.