The founding of the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in the vicinity the Kunstmuseum is the result of a combination of fortunate circumstances. The ever-growing stocks of contemporary works of the Basel Public Art Collection and the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation made it increasingly difficult to exhibit them in the Kunstmuseum.
In 1974, the Milanese Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo offered to loan the Kunstmuseum his collection of Minimal and Conceptual Art, on condition that suitable exhibition rooms could be found for it. This was the crucial factor behind the construction of a new building. On her 80 th birthday in 1975 Maja Sacher, founder of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, and her family donated the building expenses for a museum of contemporary art, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst. Five years later, the Museum was opened at a location in the St. Alban-Tal made available for the purpose by the Christoph Merian foundation.
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