Mendel Art Gallery debate revived
A Saskatoon man passionate about saving the Mendel Art Gallery is reviving the civic topic.
"My purpose was to make the public aware of what I perceive to be a horrendous waste of resources," said Raymond Martineau about the two-page advertisement he bought in the Saskatoon Express.
He said he is upset about the decision to close down the Mendel and build the new Remai Art Gallery along the river.
"Why are we talking (about putting) an art gallery in the back alley of another building and adjacent to a freeway?"
One of the biggest concerns is cost, the new art gallery is estimated to cost around $84 million, whereas renovating the existing Mendel Art Gallery would cost $24 million, Martineau said.
"Why spend, what I consider to be an excessive amount of money when it could have been provided for what, a third of the price," he said.
Money doesn't seem to be available for renovations, according to Randy Donhauer, councillor in Ward 5. He said the provincial government was only willing to fund a new facility.
"So it's a matter of nothing, or a new art gallery," he said.
"If we were looking at moving it and we're looking at something that could accommodate larger exhibitions that toured nationally and internationally, then we could get some funding."
While the new gallery has been approved in city council, it's not a done deal as the money hasn't been spent yet, Donhauer said.
"Is there still some approvals from council that would be required to do the spending? Yes," he said.
However, it is highly unlikely that council would reverse its decision, Donhauer said.