Germany: Hamburg’s 780 million Euro Elbphilharmonie opens

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Published on 11 Jan 2017, 20:25
After 14 years and €780 million ($824.9 million) invested, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie opened its doors in the port city on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Hamburg’s mayor Olaf Scholz praised the building while defending it against criticism regarding the costs. "You cannot build something like that for less than 500 or 600 millions of Euros," said Scholz.

SOT, Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg (German): "This concert hall is a big architectural achievement. And as the architects pointed out already, it is also a great achievement in terms of engineering. Maybe this building is even at the boundary of what’s possible to build. But it has worked out, the boundaries have been crossed. And I am very grateful to the architects and engineers who made this possible eventually. And therefore this is a building from which we can learn. You cannot build something like that for less than 500 or 600 million Euros. Initially other sums have been discussed, but in my opinion, that was a mistake by those who were responsible at the beginning. There should have been clarity right at the beginning in the public debate about it.”

SOT, Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg (German): "Germany is a federal country. It has 16 states and the city of Hamburg is one of them. It is an own state with an own city-state and a republican tradition. We would never even think of asking the Federal Government to pay for a concert hall.”

SOT, Jaques Herzog, architect (German): "The most important moment and the most surprising thing is that the complexity of this building could be actually realised. After all, it is also proof of the capabilities of a democratic culture, a democratic country, a democratic city, that such a project can be realised through a cooperation of the people, the parliaments, the elected politicians with professionals.”

SOT, Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg (German): "It’s a great day for Hamburg, the city of music and culture, and for culture in Germany in general. I think it is also a day of optimism. With such a successful building we can say that we can look into the future optimistically.”

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