The Finnish National Gallery’s answer to the artists’ petition

The Kiasma Support Foundation is an independent foundation. This foundation is separate and independent from Kiasma and the Finnish National Gallery. Poju Zabludowicz is a board member of the Kiasma Support Foundation. The Finnish National Gallery does not have any decision-making power over the composition of the foundation’s board of trustees. 

The Kiasma Support Foundation has defined the support of Kiasma’s operations to be its raison d’être. The foundation fulfills its mission through financial donations and the donations of art works. Kiasma advices the foundation.  

As an operator managed by the Finnish state, the Finnish National Gallery and its museums is unable to participate in boycotts targeting private citizens. We participate in such boycotts and closures, which the Finnish state is committed to and directs us to partake.  

Artists are important partners of Kiasma. We respect the views of the artists who have made the petition and we are naturally willing to continue working with the artists after they cease their work stoppage.  

The Finnish National Gallery has updated its ethical guidelines in Autumn 2022. We also continue to follow the ethical guidelines of the international association of museums, ICOM. The funding and finances of the Finnish National Gallery are completely transparent and the related documents are public documents.  

The Finnish National Gallery

The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is part of the Finnish National Gallery. The National Gallery is a foundation under public law, its establishment and operations governed by the Act and Decree on the Finnish National Gallery, which entered into force on 1 January 2014. The National Gallery operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Its main source of funding is the state of Finland. The governing bodies of the National Gallery are the Council, Board of Directors, and Director General. The Council and the Board are appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Director General is appointed by the Finnish Government.

The principal source of funding for the National Gallery is the Ministry of Education and Culture. Funding through the Ministry accounts for 68% of the annual budget (total budget MEUR 30). The National Gallery’s own funding is 32%. The primary sources of this own funding contribution are ticket sales (60%) and product sales (20%). Companies, foundations or private donors account for around 12% of own funding.

The funding and finances of the National Gallery, and thus also of Kiasma, are fully transparent. The audited financial statements with appendices and the Annual Report are public documents. We updated our Ethics and Anti-Bribery Policy in September 2022. We are committed to following the Code of Ethics of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

As a museum, Kiasma does not take a position regarding the situation in Palestine. The state of Finland maintains diplomatic relations with both Israel and Palestine, which the State manages as part of its foreign policy. The National Gallery participates in boycotts and closures that the State has committed to and has directed us to participate in. For example, we have now suspended cooperation with all Russian museums.

Kiasma Support Foundation

Kiasma Support Foundation is an independent foundation, an actor separate from the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Finnish National Gallery. Its mission is to support Kiasma’s operations through donations of artworks and funds. For example, the Foundation financially supported the extended opening hours of the museum on Friday nights in August 2019. The Foundation does not influence the decision-making or operations of the Finnish National Gallery or of Kiasma. Chaim Zabludowicz is one of the 11 members of the Kiasma Support Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The Foundation raises its funding with various activities. The most recent of them is an art portfolio with an edition of 100 copies consisting of works by four Finnish artists, the proceeds from the sale of which will be used to purchase art. Also among the Foundation’s fundraising activities are visits to collectors’ homes and small-scale art auctions.

In 2017, Anita and Chaim Zabludowicz donated a work by Ed Atkins to the National Gallery collection. In addition, Kiasma has since 2008 received individual loans of works from the Zabludowicz Collection for its temporary exhibitions, selected by members of the Kiasma content team. There have been around 10 works on loan between 2008 and 2022. We do not receive any direct financial support from Chaim Zabludowicz. Our most important collaboration with the Zabludowicz Collection is their Sarvisalo programme, in which international museum colleagues, collectors, gallerists and artists come to Kiasma to learn about our operations and the field of Finnish contemporary art.