H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition
Rodin For All In ArtCity
Upon visiting the new premises together with my wife and meeting the staff team in Barrie, I was impressed by the elegant new building, the close ties to the community and the apparent enthusiasm for the vision of Barrie as "ArtCity". As part of this concept, the posthumous Rodin& casts will be placed in public locations, so that everyone can enjoy them for free. The Rodin plasters will find a home in the new Rodin Wing. Till now, no fixed admission fee has been planned:
About future admission fees to the MacLaren collection
of Rodins I really have no idea.
[From a letter from Mary Reid to the author, 3 Dec. 2001]
But even when no fixed fees will be charged and average contributions will stay under 5 Euro, it is evident the MacLaren Art Centre hopes the donated plaster collection will improve its revenues, make Barrie more attractive to tourists and support the local economy:
CAROL OFF: But tourism is what this collection is all about.
WILLIAM MOORE: For Barrie, it's also an economic
reality, cultural tourism, especially Rodin. Rodin, people travel around
the world to see collections of Rodin. They receive hundreds of thousands
of visitors. When you look at the cultural tourism rate reality, we see a
cultural tourist spend about $ 130 a day in a community. But the other
side is great art. Great art housed in a great place available for all.
That's, how can you beat that?
The harsh critique of the R.O.M. show and the general reluctance of tourists after the terrorist attacks of September 11 meant a serious drawback for the MacLaren plans:
The 11th hurt us badly in Toronto unfortunately. No
tourists almost none. So we will get 100,000 maybe and we needed 130,000
to break even. Analysis show we would have got at least 250,000 pre 11th.
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