Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee

Public Private Partnership

The Zentrum Paul Klee is a model example of what Public Private Partnership can mean and bring about to the advantage of all participants. Only thanks to the exemplary cooperation of public sector (city, canton, regional communities and Burgergemeinde Bern) with private (Founder families Klee and Müller, founding partners and sponsors, private collectors) has it been possible to unite this unique art treasure, realise an exceptional architectural environment for it and with a diversity of activities make it accessible to the public. 

With the Zentrum Paul Klee the City of Berne gains in attraction and the Bernese population comes to enjoy the additional quality of life.

The role of the canton, the city, the regional communities and the Civic Community

The public sector’s role in the Zentrum Paul Klee is apparent from the agreement with the City, Canton and Burgergemeinde Bern signed on 3 July 1997. This declaration of intent embodies the intentions of the parties to establish, equip and operate a museum dedicated to Paul Klee, subject to the following conditions (summary):

Paul Klee’s heirs, Livia Klee-Meyer and Alexander Klee, are to make the works of Paul Klee and those of his artist friends and other works from that period currently in their possession available to the museum dedicated to Paul Klee.

The Klee heirs are to contribute to the Klee archive.

The Paul-Klee-Stiftung (Paul Klee Foundation – PKS) and the Art Museum are to make available the works of Paul Klee, the works of his artist friends and works from that period as well as works in other bequests and holdings, which are currently in their possession.

The construction of the building of the Zentrum Paul Klee was achieved entirely with funds from Prof. Dr. Maurice E. Müller and Martha Müller-Lüthi and without tax-payers’ money from the government. The security of funding the running costs is different. Until 2013 government funds from the City and the Canton of Bern are jointly responsible together with the Regional Culture Conference for the running of the Zentrum Paul Klee. After this time the regulation of the subsidy is the sole responsibility of the canton. Since the running costs are dependent on the investment costs, representatives of the government are on the board of directors of the building owners, the Maurice E. and Martha Müller Foundation (MMMF). Burgergemeinde Bern participates in the running costs of the Zentrum Paul Klee through regular subsidies in favour of preserving the legacy of Paul Klee from the Paul Klee Foundation specially founded for this purpose by the Burgergemeinde Bern.