Shanghai’s iconic Peace Hotel, once known as the most luxurious destination in the Far East, is to host what is called a contemporary arts center but which sounds more like a high class watch shop.
The centre in the hotel’s south building — in fact it is suggested it will be taking over the Peace Hotel South Building — will open to the public before the start of Shanghai’s World Expo in May 2010.
Swiss watch makers Swatch Group will own a 90% stake. It will be interesting to see whether contemporary arts and a display of Swatch watches work together or whether the center brecomes a Swatch shop with pictures.
The press release states: ‘The Swatch Art Peace Hotel will welcome the arts and working artists from around the world to its splendid venues, becoming once again a focal point of Shanghai’s vibrant cultural life. . . ‘
‘The Swatch Group’s close association with contemporary art and artists will be highlighted and complemented by a Swatch Art boutique and by the presence of numerous works of art on site, the statement said. Dedicated boutiques on the ground floor will host the Swatch Group’s most prestigious brands, including Breguet, Blancpain, and Omega. Each of the brand boutiques will be designed to complement and enhance the period decor and cultural ambience of the hotel.’ PR releases are written like that.
Sadly, it sounds like a lot of high quality watch shops taking over the Peace Hotel South Building. This is a joint-venture acquisition with the leading Chinese Jin Jiang Group, a hotel and tour operator, which holds a 10% share in the venture.
Sources: AFP and JCKonline.com