Reply from the Miyagi Prefectural Government (summary):
*After receiving the answer from the Miyagi Prefectural Government, we have summarized the English version because we felt that the full explanation could not sufficiently be translated directly into English. The translated version is summarized as follows.
The following is the answer from the Miyagi Prefectural Government to our question “Have you contacted Mr. Dani Karavan?”
It is our understanding that people speaking on behalf of Mr. Dani Karavan, not the artist himself, contacted the Miyagi Museum of Art and conveyed his concern about the relocation plan of the museum and the handling of his artwork, Ma`ayan. In response, The Miyagi Museum of Art replied that it intends to conduct a comparative study of the on-site renovation and relocation of the facilities through a consolidation with other facilities. At this point in time, the specifics have not yet been decided.
Disaster Reconstruction Planning Department is leading the discussion. The members of the department do not know which person of Dani Karavan’s representatives the Miyagi Museum of Art is in contact with. Our understanding is that Mr. Karavan is concerned about the future of Ma`ayan.
We have not yet decided whether or not to enter into a dialogue with Mr. Karavan after summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of the on-site renovation plan and the relocation, reconstruction and consolidation plan. We suppose that this is something to consider. We received several opinions from the people of volunteer group about the initial contract with Mr. Dani Karavan and the possibility of a lawsuit. So, we shall summarize what, from now on, must be done in the context of the precedent.
We expect that we are going to consider various items, such as the handling of the other open-air sculptures at the museum. We would like to communicate fully with the Miyagi Museum of Art`s departments and staff as we proceed with the project.
We feel that the advantages and disadvantages of the project are not simply cost-related. We will also consider other factors such as cultural value in the future.
We would like to add a supplementary note for the people who don`t know the story so far.
Our question was responded to not by the Prefectural Department of Tourism and Culture in charge of the Miyagi Museum of Art, but rather by the Disaster Reconstruction Planning Department, which is responsible for the major restructuring of prefectural facilities. This department does not know about any interaction between Mr. Dani Karavan and the museum.
This matter came up during the process of studying the restructuring of prefectural facilities, which was triggered by the relocation of the Prefectural Citizens’ Hall. For that reason, the discussion was held at a voluntary meeting of experts called the “Round Table Conference on the Reorganization of Prefectural Facilities, etc.,” which did not include those involved with the museum.
In the meeting minutes, it was suggested that the prefectural budo-kan would be a good place to start when relocating the current Prefectural Hall – which is in need of rebuilding due to its age – to take advantage of the financial incentives offered by the national government in its efforts to consolidate facilities.
However, there were some inconveniences, such as the fact that the site for the relocation was too large, which led to the idea that The Miyagi Museum of Art would be a better choice.
According to the Prefectural Assembly, when the matter was first discussed, the Disaster Reconstruction Planning Department notified the department in charge of the Miyagi Museum of Art.
This is why, though our question is about the Miyagi Museum of Art, the department that is responsible for the response must be “the Prefectural Department of Tourism and Culture” not “the Disaster Reconstruction Planning Department” who talked with us this time.