When the city council of Eindhoven met 18 October, one agenda item was to decide the fate of the Van Abbemuseum after local politicians expressed a desire that the museum’s nature should become more audience-friendly, the goal being to triple the number of visitors. Public support would also be cut significantly. Director Charles Esche asked last week that all interested parties stand up at the meeting to show their support for the museum.
Charles Esche has written 19 October on his Facebook page that no formal decision was made because the council did not complete the meeting’s agenda. Esche states, however, that the great support which has come partially through newspaper submissions apparently has had a positive influence on the debate. Esche writes that several representatives expressed skepticism about the proposal to cut the museum’s support, and that many, quite the contrary, expressed respect for the museum’s international reputation, and several also wished that Esche’s programming profile would continue along the same lines it has had.
Even so, the museum’s situation remains unclear, and the next meeting of Eindhoven’s city council will take place 15 November. Esche urges everyone to continue expressing support for the museum, and although the lack of a decision at the 18 October meeting is good news to a degree, he nonetheless appeals urgently for continued opposition to the Labour Party proposal: “We are still in a struggle to realise the intelligent, hospitable, radical and accessible museum that we all want to work towards for the future.”