Council chiefs could look across the Atlantic to one of America’s most iconic landmarks for the funding of the art gallery.
The story of the Statue of Liberty has parallels with the £30million project in Aberdeen’s ambitious 25-year city centre masterplan.
When cash-strapped New York ran out of funds for the Statue’s pedestal in 1884, newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer came to the rescue.
Through urging readers to donate money towards the pedestal in his newspaper New York World, Pulitzer raised $100,000 – an astronomical sum at the time – in six months.
Most donations were $1 or less.
An article published in New York World on March 16, 1885 stated: “The World is the people’s paper, and now it appeals to the people to come forward and raise the money.
“The $250,000 that the making of the Statue cost was paid by the masses of the French people – by the working men, the tradesmen, the shop girls, the artisans – by all, irrespective of class or condition.
“Let us respond in like manner. Let us not wait for the millionaires to give us this money. It is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America.”
Roughly 125,000 people contributed to the completion of the pedestal thanks to Pulitzer’s crusade. In thanks, the World published the names of each person who made a contribution.
In his first exclusive interview with the P&J, the council’s new city centre director Marc Cole said the Granite City should look to replicate other internationally renowned cities like the Big Apple and Reykjavik.
He and council deputy leader embarked this week on a two-day fact finding mission to the “northern powerhouse” cities of Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester to take inspiration for the plan.