From economic ruin to one of the world’s go-to places for inspiring art, Bilbao has just one thing to thank: the Guggenheim effect.
When the metal industry in Bilbao collapsed in the early 1990s, this northern city in Spain’s Basque country was in desperate need for a boost in its local economy. This is where the plans for a new Guggenheim museum came in, a €133m regeneration scheme that sought to boost tourist interest.
The idea was more successful than anyone could have hoped, Bilbao’s Guggenheim welcoming more than one million visitors through its doors in the first year alone, and making back the initial investment from the council in the first five.
Now considered to be one of the most influential buildings in the world, a thriving tourism industry has helped other local businesses become successful as well, such as the 40 Michelin-starred restaurants in the area. You can even take a virtual tour of the museum, though nothing compares to the perfect combination of inspirational art followed by world-class food.
The ‘Guggenheim effect’ is now used to describe the incredible effects cultural investment can have on social and economic growth, something that is evident as soon as you enter the city. A sleek Audi A5 Coupé no longer looks out of place as it glides down the streets, smooth and elegant.
The Floret Silver metallic paint glints off the thousands of titanium-clad arches and vaults as the Audi drives past the museum, and the perfectly sculpted silhouette of the A5 Coupé almost looks as if it should be on display inside the museum.
The museum and the Audi A5 Coupé make a perfect pairing, but why not take a look for yourself, and explore the A5 range at Jardine Motors Audi now.