Underneath the domes, 13,000 cubic meters of rock has been excavated to create a 2,200 square meter gallery space underneath Lasipalatsi and Narinkkatori. The construction of the museum lasted five years and cost about 50 million euros. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Massive queue, squirming like a snake alongside Lasipalatsi, has been a common sight in the past days in the Helsinki center.

Tourists and people across the country have been waiting for—sometimes as much as four hours—to experience the Amos Rex art museum that opened its doors on August 30 last year.

On Sunday, its very first exhibition teamLab: Massless, a major international exhibition by a Tokyo-based art collective, saw its end after having turned out to be a success: it gathered about 270,000 visitors!



But still, the museum made a loss of about 2.5 million euros. The good news is that its half a million less than expected.

According to Amos Rex’s Museum Director Kai Kartio, running an art museum is more about serving a purpose than about money. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

“It’s an absolutely fantastic feeling that what we do is considered significant,” said Museum Director Kai Kartio.

“Running an art museum is by nature an activity that is practically impossible to turn into a profit,” Kartio said.

According to Kartio, there are a number of reasons that contribute to massive costs. Because of contractual reasons he doesn’t reveal the price of running, for example, temLab’s exhibition, but, nevertheless, it’s clear that the property and personnel are eating most of the budget.

According to Kartio, the Museum Card, which allows a free or a lower cost entry to a number of museums, is also one of the contributing factors.

“Half of the visitors are coming in with the Museum Card—which is a great thing—but the compensation is not even close to the entrance fee,” he said.

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