diller scofidio and renfro's museum in rio, brazil may resume construction after five year hold

Aug 08, 2021

paul clemence photographs the ongoing progress of the diller scofidio and renfro-designed museum of image and sound (MIS) in rio de janeiro, brazil. the images show the museum at its current state, with around 70% of the physical structure already complete. construction of the building began in 2014 and had stood untouched since 2016. see designboom’s earlier coverage of the museum as it began to take shape, and the project’s first visualizations that had been unveiled in 2009.

paul clemence‘s photographs of diller scofidio and renfro‘s museum come shortly after new plans to complete the project after its five year standstill. an announcement had been released on july 7th, 2021 that construction will finally resume. completion was expected by december 2022 with a public opening early in 2023. governor of rio de janeiro cláudio castro announced: ‘it is a great joy to announce the resumption of the MIS works on such a symbolic date. inspired by the curves of the neighborhood’s promenade, the museum will become another tourist spot on one of the world’s famous postcards. this work is one more of the actions and projects for the recovery of tourism and the universalization of culture. rio de janeiro needs to return to the role of protagonist that it has always had.’

by late july however, the brazilian federal government had mandated that funds raised by the roberto marinho foundation for the project be returned to the state’s national culture fund. according to folha de s. paulo, the funding had come largely through private companies incentivized by brazil’s ‘rouanet law’ which offers tax benefits to encourage investments in art and culture.

it has not been officially announced why funds were suspended for the diller scofidio and renfro-designed museum in rio, brazil — although the bolsonaro government’s special secretary for culture, and former telenovela actor, mario frias released a statement on twitter: ‘the audits of the rouanet law projects are a fundamental part for us to moralize the mechanisms for promoting culture. it is a priority, in my administration, to audit all liabilities of 13 billion reais, to identify and punish the misuse of our people’s money.’

this news follows another decision by mario frias to pull funding from another work implemented by the roberto marinho foundation — the ‘museu da língua portuguese’ in são paulo — after its use of the neutral pronoun ‘todes’ on social media. in a statement on twitter he condemned the use of the word as ‘cultural vandalism.’