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Gallery has honoured Goethe-Institut interest

  • Comment

I refer to the article 'Libeskind's Eighteen Turns' heading for Manchester' (AJ 5.7.01). While it is in the main correct, the relationship between the Serpentine Gallery and the Goethe-Institut is misrepresented.

The Serpentine Gallery gave the Goethe-Institut unique access to Daniel Libeskind's studio to enable us to explore the manner in which our plans to buy the pavilion and relocate it to Manchester University could be realised. At the same time, the Serpentine Gallery had to recoup the costs of the pavilion of £100,000, not £125,000 as stated in the article. The Serpentine has been honourable in recognising our interest and ensuring we received the necessary information to proceed in our fundraising efforts.

However, at no time did the Serpentine Gallery give any indication that it preferred a private buyer to ourselves. The information about private bidders quoted in the AJ is misleading, and at no time did I mention that private access could be prevented. The article is therefore a misrepresentation of the Serpentine's position.

Throughout all its dealings with anyone who expressed interest in the sale, it cited ourselves as the first to put a marker down.

Dr Ulrich Sacker, director, Goethe-Institut, London

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