Philharmonie de Paris, main hall
(c) artefactory

The UMP Group within the City Council of Paris has announced on Tuesday, 24 December, that they ask for an extended legal control of the financing that has been decided for the city’s contribution to the new Philharmonic Hall being built in the 19th Arrondissement. UMP politicians are concerned about the camouflage of the construction cost in the city budget. The mayor Bertrand Delanoë (PS) is accused of having chosen a particularly costly financing to pay for the city’s contribution, some 160 million Euros. Instead of securing a loan for the city, the politicians decided to stand guarantor for a loan by the Philharmonie itself, and the city has to pay from 2014 to 2028 an annual amount of 15 million Euros to the Philharmonie. At the end, the cost for the city will be higher since the interest rate of the current loan is 5,2%, while the city would have paid only 3,5%.

Some months only before the municipal elections in France, this debate could be an important one for the UMP opposition in Paris, especially since the construction of the Philharmonic Hall has continuously stroked jarring notes. While the initial evaluation of the cost had been as low as 120 million Euros the current one is 386 million Euros.

Furthermore, opponents of the project say that its location at the northeast end of Paris, in a popular region, is far from being ideal.

The construction also is behind schedule after having been at a halt for nearly two years. The opening is now foreseen for January 2015, but more likely is an inauguration in September of that year.

The other big problem in terms of audience is the building of a new concert hall at Seguin island, west of Paris (more here), from where the audience of the main halls in Paris, ‘Théâtre des Champs-Elysées’ and ‘Salle Pleyel’, is mostly coming from. The promoter of the new Westside Concert hall already announced that the audience there should expect to attend the major orchestras of the world.

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