Montpellier (dpa) - Whether in Paris or Vienna: Many museums are increasingly exhibiting private collections of contemporary art lovers. One of the reasons: their often precarious financial situation.

The practice is not problematic. For works exhibited in museums not only experience qualitative added value. Their prices are also rising on the art market. From the world of art and culture, the question is now raised: Do public museums make free PR for private collectors? The southern French city of Montpellier has opened a museum that opens private doors to private collections.

The Hôtel des Collections, the hotel of the collections, is located in a patrician house of more than 3000 square meters. The 18th century building was rebuilt for around 20 million euros. His concept: to show collections of private art lovers, companies, artists and also public institutions, which are preferably to be seen for the first time.

The new temple of art was opened with the collection of the Japanese entrepreneur Yasuharu Ishikawa. Under the title "Distance intimate" works by On Kawara, Pierre Huyghe, Félix González-Torres, Simon Fujiwara, Danh Võ, Gerhard Richter and Marcel Broodthaers will be shown until September 29, famous names in the international art scene. Ishikawa, a businessman from the fashion industry, started his collection in 2011 with around 200 works.

Museums are increasingly resorting to the art treasures of private individuals. Many budgets are shrinking as prices on the art market increase and the insurance of the works increases accordingly. German feature articles also discuss the topic when private art collections have more than museums.

For many museums, the controversial cooperation with private collectors seems to have become an unavoidable reality. For example, Ulrike Gross, director of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, mentions this cooperation in an interview with the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten". She was convinced that it would not work without a private collector.

The Vienna Leopold Museum recorded its halls in 2018 under the title "WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection »with works by the billionaire Heidi Goëss-Horten, the Museum Folkwang in Essen presented in 2016 a section of the collection of the Frenchman François Pinault, who will soon open his third museum in Paris.

In an interview with Nicolas Bourriaud, director of the new museum in Montpellier, the French newspaper Libération raised the question whether its museum does not serve those who do not need it? The answer of the former co-director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris: the house is no ode to the art market. He is interested in the museum dimension of these collections, Bourriaud said. In his estimation, 90 percent of the collections worldwide are not "visible".

That it is still a balancing act, said Bourriaud the German Press Agency. Therefore, they also prefer to exhibit collections that have not yet been presented to the public and will also curate them, he explained.

In the case of Ishikawa's collection, for which the late 1940s founded a foundation, this is only partially true. In his homeland, Ishikawa and his foundation are becoming major players in the Japanese art scene. This year he organized for the second time in Okayama the art triennial Art Summit. Artistic Director was the French artist Pierre Huyghe.

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