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$750-Million Guggenheim Abu Dhabi&#146s “Request for Interested Contractors”

An early model of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

I couldn’t leave to see Vermeer’s “Milkmaid” without spilling this tidbit from Page A16 of today’s NY Times—an ad with an image of a Frank Gehry model at the bottom, enigmatically titled, “Request for Interested Contractors to Submit Pre-qualification.”

“Pre-qualification for what?” you ask.

For the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, of course. From the ad we learn that “the estimated cost of construction is in excess of $750 million.” Companies that had turnovers of less than $1 billion in 2008 need not apply. Application fees of $10,000 must accompany your completed “pre-qualification questionnaire.”

For more details that have emerged about the project, including names of three builders said to be planning to compete, go to a report published on Friday in Business Intelligence Middle East. I tried to confirm that article’s details with the Guggenheim. But the museum’s spokesperson, Eleanor Goldhar, referred me to Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company. I have a query pending there.

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