Artist Not Vital Buys 12th Century Castle in the Swiss Alps to Show Art

The picturesque Schloss Tarasp in the Engadin Mountains. Photo: schlosshoteltarasp.ch

The renowned Swiss artist Not Vital has been granted permission to purchase Schloss Tarasp, a 12th century castle near the town of Scuol in the Lower Engadine in the Swiss Alps.

Luzerner Zeitung reported that town residents voted 634 to 204 in favor of allowing the artist to buy the historic property from the German aristocratic family von Hessen for 8 million CHF ($8,260,000).

Crucially, the agreement between Not Vital and the community contains a clause which stipulates that the artist must keep the museum publicly accessible until at least 2030. The castle is an important tourist destination attracting 18,000 visitors to the region a year.

The artist announced he will host exhibitions in the one-of-a-kind space. Photo: Galerie Nordenhake

The artist announced he will host exhibitions in the one-of-a-kind space.
Photo: Galerie Nordenhake

Additionally, the community secured the first right of refusal should the artist ever want to put the castle back on the market in the future.

In return, the artist secured 200,000 CHF annual contribution for the maintenance and upkeep of the 1000- year-old building from the community.

The artist is known for his conceptual sculptures. Photo: rtwsarah.wordpress.com

The artist is known for his conceptual sculptures.
Photo: rtwsarah.wordpress.com

Not Vital has revealed that he wants to transform the castle into an exhibition space for art and music. The artist has long been invested in preserving the region’s unique cultural assets and language: He opened a foundation in 2003, in Ardez, and founded a library of Romansh literature, the Latin-derived language spoken in the region.

In the build-up to the referendum, the community described the interest from the artist as a lucky strike. Since the von Hessen family put the castle on the market in 2004, the community has been searching for buyers who would be prepared to maintain public access to the landmark.

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