The Smithsonian Institution, which runs most of the major museums in Washington, D.C., is considering a 40,000-square-foot space in London in 2021, The New York Times reports:
“To persuade the Smithsonian to take part in the plan, London authorities have promised to pay the estimated $50 million cost [from private donors] to construct the Smithsonian’s exhibition space and ship Smithsonian exhibits to London.”
It’s an interesting development, especially in light of the fact that other museums are expanding around the world. The Abu Dhabi paid the Louvre over $1 billion for the right to open an expansion there, and the government will own the Guggenheim expansion there, which implies a similar deal.
The proposed Guggenheim Helsinki has recently been the subject of some controversy, since some there say it costs too much. So it seems as though London truly wants its Smithsonian!