The Guggenheim looks to be backing up the promises they made back in early-spring in an open letter they issued to the artists who had announced a boycott of the organization’s latest and still under-construction museum in Abu Dhabi. The artists, largely well-known people from the Middle East and therefore pivotal to the success of the new arm of the Guggenheim empire, formed the boycott after learning that Human Rights Watch had deemed the construction site both unsafe and unfair to workers there. The Foundation’s response was that they a) believed the report wasn’t entirely accurate and b) they knew there were some failings and would now do all they could to fix them. The latest is that an independent monitoring firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been hired by the Tourism
Development & Investment Company (TDIC) to “oversee worker welfare for the more than 10,000 labourers who live and work on the island.” Here’s a bit from The National‘s reporting on the new, but independent hire:
In a statement, the leadership of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation called the PwC appointment “an essential component of safeguarding workers’ rights”.
“We remain committed to the workers on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi construction site, to maintaining the integrity of our joint project with TDIC and to establishing a truly international museum that will reflect and celebrate the cultures of the Middle East while fostering an atmosphere of open, intellectual exchange,” the statement said.
PwC will work with TDIC’s internal audit department and work with the developer’s audit committee when needed.