on the cultural policy scandal at the city of Zurich

By Heidi Weber

In 1960, I charged Le Corbusier with designing a building for a museum. My intention was, to place the museum with my art collection as a “synthesis of the arts” (“Gesamtkunstwerk”) in the hands of the public.

When I was looking for a suitable location, the city of Zurich ceded a property at the Zürichhorn under development rights for 50 years. Right from the beginning, the city of Zurich did not stick the deal agreed between us. I had to cushion financial difficulties, namely cost overrun due to the avant-garde architecture – its unique shape, construction, materials, etc. –, which posed a huge challenge for all stakeholders. The city of Zurich however did at no time contribute a single Swiss Franc to the construction, financing, or maintenance of the building. Additionally, I had to combat objections against the building, by people who wanted to avoid it being built.

In 2014 then, according to the development rights contract, the ownership for the museum changed tothe city of Zurich. However, all the grand words, and more promises, this time expressed by Mayor CorineMauch and Cultural Director Peter Haerle, trailed away shortly afterwards. To my disappointment, their behaviour has been influenced by political ambition, which in effect entirely misconstructs the history of my museum. E.g., with the clear intention to erase my name from the museum´s history, Peter Haerlespent 100,000 Swiss Francs to find a new name for the museum. I feel disgusted, because up until now the city of Zurich never showed a true interest in Le Corbusier and now they want to appear as if it was always them who had planned a synthesis of arts with Le Corbusier, and as if my person had only been an irksomefund provider.

Not now nor in the future will I allow the city of Zurich with CorineMauch and Peter Haerleto take credit for my achievements, and will do anything to prevent this.

Therefore, I felt forced to take the following legal action:

Complaint at the Senior Public Prosecutor in Zurich on Sempteber 8th, 2016, and appeal at the Federal Supreme Court on February 1st, 2017.