An artist’s rendering of the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim from the east (via

A statement by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was released today in support of the appoint of PricewaterhouseCoopers as an independent monitor at the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim. Their role will help, the statement says, “safeguarding workers’ rights and ensuring that the contractors and sub-contractors working on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi construction site comply with UAE labor laws and TDIC’s Employment Practices Policy.”

Considering the United Arab Emirates labor laws are lacking in many regards, including allowing open discrimination based on ethnicity and consistently favoring employers over employees, this statement rings hollow, but there are signs of hope:

To date, the Foundation has worked closely with TDIC to make demonstrable advances through the issuance last September of our Joint Statement on Workers’ Rights, which sets out the substantial rights that will be afforded to workers on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi construction site in many important areas, including timely, electronic payment of wages, accommodation conditions, working hours, withholding personal documents, recruitment fees, contracts of employment, workplace standards, and the ability to report grievances.

The statement bears the signatures of the chairman, William Mack, and president, Jennifer Blei Stockman.

Read the whole thing here.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

One reply on “Guggenheim Foundation Supports Appointment of Independent Monitor for Abu Dhabi Project”

  1. So…er….Bullshit. Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), a private corporation is a client of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), another private corporation—any expectations of transparency should be left behind, especially in such a place as the U.A.E. Independent monitoring of finances etc is great, accountability to the public at large for what essentially amounts to human rights issues is a whole other matter.
    It would be different if Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International “monitored” the construction process/treatment of workers – that would assure some degree of transparency to the international community. This is not that.

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