Wageningen UR has sold the Botanical Centre at the Arboretumlaan to the Utopa Foundation. Utopa wants to turn this into a study and information centre related to art and plants.
Earlier on, Utopa has bought the building next door - 'De Banaan' - from Wageningen UR. This property will house a visual arts museum and a restaurant. Utopa wants to make this a specialty restaurant related to plants and greens. 'But it doesn't necessarily have to be a vegetarian restaurant', Dijkman thinks. He says that Utopa is engaged in creating an unusual combination of plants, art and food at and around the Dreijen. The foundation also owns the Hinkeloord property on which Het Depot has its sculpture exhibits.
The agreement between Wageningen UR and Utopa was signed on Monday afternoon. The purchase of the Botanical Centre is the last of Utopa's ventures in Wageningen, Dijkman says. The foundation will start renovating De Banaan in February. The entire complex will be ready for handing over in the fall of 2011, at the earliest.