By Agence France-Presse
A futuristic museum designed by Tokyo Olympic Stadium architect Kengo Kuma and featuring exterior concrete slabs in a hull shape was unveiled in Scotland on Wednesday.
The £80 million (90 million euros, $104 million) Victoria & Albert Dundee sits on the banks of the River Tay.
The original V&A in London, named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design.
The museum is the centerpiece of a £1 billion regeneration of Scotland’s fourth largest city, which has suffered years of economic decline.
City leaders hope the museum will create a similar economic boost as the Guggenheim Bilbao, which opened in 1997 and took the Basque city from a tourist backwater to a major draw for around 1.75 million visitors annually.
Kuma, who also designed the new national stadium for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, said he wants the V&A Dundee to be “a new living room for the city”.
John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said visitors have already increased by almost a tenth on the back of the ongoing regeneration and an endorsement by travel guide Lonely Planet as a top European destination for 2018.
“For too long this city was seen as a poor relation to some of our larger neighboring cities, but that is no longer the case,” he said.
“Dundee is leading the charge in cultural-led regeneration.”
Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A in London, described the new museum as a beacon for exchange and interaction “at a time of far too much inward looking nationalism and parochialism”.