04 APR 2011
The cost estimates for a euro-museum celebrating the EU's "historical memory" have more than doubled to almost £137 million before work has even begun on the controversial project.
By Bruno Waterfield | The Telegraph
Two documents seen by The Daily Telegraph disclose that an initial pricing of £58 million for the "House of European History" project has increased by more than 90 per cent, with the costs of leasing a building, starting the exhibition and renovation soaring to £112.5 million.
A third document shows that calculations of running costs at £12 million a year are also more than 80 per cent higher than originally forecast, taking the total cost estimates to £136.5 million by the end of 2015.
The contribution of British taxpayers to the museum, created by MEPs "to cultivate the memory of European history and European unification", will be £18.6 million at a time when many museums and galleries in Britain face painful funding cuts.
The rocketing costs have raised questions of a "conflict of interest" because the board of trustees running the project includes whoever is chairman of the European Parliament's budget committee, the EU assembly's spending authority.
"It defies both belief and logic that in this age of austerity MEPs have the vast sums of money to fund this grossly narcissistic project," said Marta Andreasen, a Ukip MEP and member of the budget committee.
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