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European Expert Meeting on Percent for Art Schemes


An expert meeting on art took place on the instructions of the Dutch Government in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 26 and 27 September 2005. Representatives from organisations which are involved in (percentage) schemes in various European countries met for the first time at group level. The gathering was organised by Atelier HSL (High Speed Line South Studio) in cooperation with the Atelier Rijksbouwmeester (Chief Government Architect's Studio) based on the need felt by both studios to exchange experiences with comparable organisations in other European countries. In the Netherlands the percentage scheme has recently been applied for the first time in a large-scale infrastructural project. Another point for discussion is whether it is perhaps time to set up a percentage scheme for European building projects, too.

This first meeting was primarily intended as an introductory get together for the exchange of experiences and ideas. Participants introduced their organisations and presented one or more case studies in this two-day gathering. The presentations were divided into six sessions: Art Commissions in State Buildings, Art and the Social Sphere, Art and Infrastructure, Sustainable Art, Future Art, Dutch Examples. The expert meeting closed with a discussion.

The following topics were handled in the presentations:

  • What kind of policies do the different European countries have for art designed for government buildings?
  • What are the successes and failures of these regulations and how can quality be sustained?
  • Can art really contribute to large-scale projects and what kind of role does and should art play in these complex economic processes? And what are the consequences if these projects are a form of self critique?
  • Is there a need for a European organisation or network that supervises and commissions artworks and architecture for buildings which are part of the European Community?
  • How does one deal, as an art organisation, with all the different interests of parties in large scale building projects which develop out of cooperation between public and private partners?
  • How could exchanging knowledge and experience contribute to achieving higher quality?
  • Should this exchange be organised on a regular basis, for instance every two or three years?

 After the presentations a short discussion was held on a number of the aspects mentioned and suggestions were made for the future.

A report of the presentations held during the expert meeting is given below. It is preceded by a concise overview of schemes in the field of art for state buildings in the participating countries.