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Costs skyrocketed, the city council was misled and plans and management made no sense. In other words: everything went wrong during the construction of the Amare Cultural Complex in The Hague.
This is the conclusion of the council’s investigation into the cultural complex that it presented on Friday morning. “The public interest of Amari has been neglected,” researchers say.
Amare is a theater and event venue in the center of The Hague. There are the Residentie Orchestra, the Dutch Dance Theater and the Royal Conservatory, among others. The new “Cultural Center” in Hofstad is put into use in 2021.
According to the committee’s estimates, building the complex will cost 520 million euros. Initially, 170 million euros were assumed. In addition, there is so much emphasis on construction that there is no longer money to put on displays that belong to the Palace of Culture, according to reports. West Radio.
In an interview with the investigative committee, the director said that Amari would need additional support of one million euros per year in any case. The final amount could rise to a maximum of 658 million over fifty years, according to estimates by the investigation committee.
The vision for the future is absent
“Both in preparation for construction and in the construction of the complex itself, it is not described what the municipality wants to achieve through construction and how this serves the interests of the citizens of The Hague,” the committee wrote. “Now that the building is in place, both the council and the council are obligated to think about what the municipality wants to achieve with Amari.”
The municipal council is seen as obstructive and misleading
The committee also has comments about the decision-making process among the various municipal councilors and how the municipal council has always lagged behind the times. For example, the tender began in 2014 before the council decided to build, and in 2018 the construction contract was signed before the proposal was discussed in the council.
The researchers conclude that “the municipal council was not treated as the highest body, but rather as an obstacle that must be overcome.”
According to the commission, there was also a “council culture”, whereby dissent on the part of civil servants, outside advisors or council members was not tolerated. The council was allegedly misled at various times while making its decision.
Discuss and decide
It is now up to the municipal council to discuss the investigation committee’s report and decide how to proceed.
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