The Governing Council intends to ease its budget for 2017 with the closure of the Skulpturhalle Basel and the removal to a storage depot of its 2’200 casts of Greek and Roman art. By means of downsizing personnel and annulling operating and maintenance costs, 200’000 Swiss Francs are expected to be saved. The Council foresees making the casts accessible again in 2023 in conjunction with a planned, but yet uncertain move, of the Antikenmuseum, to a new location in the Augustinergasse (which presently houses the natural history museum).

The closure of the Skulpturhalle would consciously surrender to oblivion not only a prime part of the oldest museum of the city, but also the third largest collection of casts worldwide. Storage of the fragile casts would expose historical and unique holdings to irresponsible risks: serious damage and even loss of entire works must be reckoned with. As a result of the closure, not only archaeological research and university teaching, but also schools and the general audience interested in ancient civilizations would loose a place of education as well as a lively and innovative institution. The cultural landscape of Basel would deliberately be damaged and, therefore, poorer. Moreover, in view of the financial cost of packaging and storage, the aim at any cost saving would fail to materialize.

We, the undersigned, urgently request the Governing Council to abstain from the closure of the Skulpturhalle as part of the planned budget cuts of the Antikenmuseum Basel.

Begründung

The Skulpturhalle is a crucial part of the museum history of Basel and, at the same time, an institution of international repute: the architectural sculpture of the famous Parthenon Temple on Athens’ Acropolis, which exists in its entirety only in Basel in the form of casts, is just one example. The Skulpturhalle needs to be preserved for future generations as part of our responsibility for shared values. The costs for the planned storage of the casts would by far exceed the budgetted savings of 200’000 Swiss Francs.

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    Wir bedanken uns herzlich für Ihr Engagement und die Unterstützung,
    Ihr openPetition-Team

  • Dear Friends of the Skulpturhalle Basel

    On Wednesday, 20 May 2015, the petition “No to the Shutdown of the Skulpturhalle Basel” was submitted to the government of Basel in the city hall’s courtyard. Numerous supporters attended the event.

    Within two months, the Swiss Association of Classical Archaeology collected more than 6,500* signatures in our fight against the closure of the Skulpturhalle and the removal to a storage depot of its over 2,200 gypsum casts of Greek and Roman art works. Confronted with three students in the guise of gypsum casts of Greek statues and many friends of the Skulpturhalle wearing white in sympathy with the casts, state secretary Barbara Schüpbach-Guggenbühl received not only the list of signatures and the many personal statements, but also a cast of the head of the goddess Athena. May the goddess of wisdom and well-considered strategies make sure that the government will find the courage to reconsider the case and take a wise decision. Although Mr. Guy Morin, President of the Cantonal Government, was not “officially” in attendance, a sharp-eyed journalist of “TagesWoche” did not miss the fact that he was following the event from a window of the city hall.

    More information on the event can be found here:
    www.tageswoche.ch/de/2015_21/kultur/688333/Schliessung-der-Skulpturhalle-als-%C2%ABunverantwortliche-Schreibtischtat%C2%BB-gebrandmarkt.htm

    We warmly thank again everybody who supported and disseminated the petition.

    The Swiss Association of Classical Archaeology (SAKA/ASAC)

    *after definitive counting

  • Dear Friends of the Skulpturhalle Basel

    The Swiss Association of Classical Archaeology (SAKA-ASAC) has launched the petition “No to the Shutdown of the Skulpturhalle Basel” on 22 February 2015 in order to fight against the closure of the renowned Skulpturhalle and the removal to a storage depot of its over 2,200 gypsum casts of Greek and Roman art works. Closure and removal are planned by the Governing Council of the Canton Basel-Stadt to ease its budget. Within the given grace period of two months, you and over 6000 people from Basel, Switzerland and thirty other countries worldwide have signed the petition either by handwritten message or by electronic means. Many of you have, in addition, personally campaigned for the dissemination of our petition. We profoundly thank you all for your support.

    Your encouragement and variegated commentaries are a strong proof of the great repute and high esteem that the Skulpturhalle Basel has earned, both in research and with the general audience. Indeed, the increasing number of visitors also expresses this: 2014 scored a growth of nearly twenty per cent compared to the previous year.

    The submission of the signatures and comments to Mr. Guy Morin, President of the Cantonal Government, will take place on Wednesday, 20 May 2015, at 11–11:15 a.m. in the courtyard of the Basel City Hall.
    We urgently invite everybody to attend the submission of the petition. The more people assist in the event, the more weight will be given to our demand. Moreover, in sympathy with the gypsum casts we suggest that you arrive fully or partially dressed in white.

    With many thanks for your support,

    The Swiss Association of Classical Archaeology (SAKA – ASAC)

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