08 September 2023
- Reliable framework required for DOMiD project worth millions of euros
- Feasibility study "Hallen Kalk" was a prerequisite for site selection
- Central points for handing over the hall to DOMiD still unresolved
Cologne, 08.09.2023 - For the realization of the nationwide museum "House of the Immigration Society", the sponsor DOMiD calls on the city to create reliable framework conditions on the site of the Hallen Kalk. The establishment of a public welfare-oriented cultural area in the east of the site were decisive for the choice of location in 2019. The withdrawal of the Montag Stiftung Urbane Räume (MUR) from the project and the statements of the Lord Mayor in yesterday's meeting in the Council of the City of Cologne are alarm signals. Negotiations on the handover of the hall are dragging on, as key points between funding bodies and the City of Cologne remain unresolved.
Looking back to 2018: the Cologne Integration Council gives the impetus for the establishment of the house in Cologne, the Council agrees. With the mediation of the head of the building department Markus Greitemann, DOMiD decided in 2019 to locate the museum in the largest hall (Hall 70) of the former KHD plant. With citizen participation, the feasibility study there had stipulated a community-oriented development of the Osthof and the opening of the hall to the west for the Veedel. This planning was adopted in 2019 by the Council of the City of Cologne. DOMiD then joined forces with civil society actors who want to develop the site into a cultural area. As an associated partner, DOMiD became involved in the "Verantwortungsgemeinschaft Osthof" (VGO). For years, the city shifted responsibility for decisions back and forth and put off the mostly voluntary initiatives.
Solution for DOMiD and action concept for Hallen Kalk demanded
Now a responsible decision maker has been named in the form of the city development department head Andree Haack, who has set up a project structure. DOMiD managing director Dr. Robert Fuchs explains: "In Mr. Haack now our hope lies that the city catches what the MUR would have achieved. The statements of the mayor make me skeptical whether the council decision will be implemented. The development in the Osthof is one thing. For DOMiD's leasehold contract, key points still need to be clarified between the city and the funding agencies. For example, the condition of Hall 70 at the time of handover is currently still in dispute. All in all, these are not good general conditions for the investment, even if we hear positive signs for the west side. We call on the city to resolve the disputed points for the handover of Hall 70 to DOMiD in a binding manner. An action concept must be presented for the entire area that includes how the financial and personnel conditions for the public welfare-oriented development of the Kalk halls will be guaranteed. The civil society initiatives from Kalk must also be enabled to develop the Osthof into a lively cultural area."
Funded by the federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, DOMiD wants to invest a total of 44.26 million euros at the site for the nationwide migration museum, which currently goes by the working title "House of the Immigration Society." The city of Cologne is supporting the project by handing over the building in the form of a prospective leasehold agreement.
The Hall 70 designated for DOMiD. Photo: Wolfgang Hep/DOMiD Archive, Cologne
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Hallen Kalk and DOMiD
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