Writer Juha Vakkuri travelled to Benin and at the beach in Grand-Popo, he found a place for his long awaited Finnish-African cultural and research centre.
A beach plot for rent was found for Villa Karo. The plot had three hospital ruins left from the colonial times.
The estimated cost of renovations of Villa Karo’s main building was 32 million CFA-francs, or about 50 000 euros.
The renovations of the main building of Villa Karo begin. The new estimated cost for the renovation increased to 50 million CFA-francs, or about 85 000 euros.
The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Svenska Kulturfonden provide support for the costs and the Central Committee for the Arts provides support for the residency.
The inauguration of Villa Karo will be held in the same year. The names of 54 support members and eleven sponsors can be found on the wall of the entrance hall.
Residence facilities and the library
The upstairs of Villa Karo has five residence rooms with double doors, all with a sea view and a large balcony. Artists and researchers in residency will stay in these rooms and have access to the whole upstairs.
Next to the reception hall is the library. The library holds about three thousand volumes that have all been given through donations. There are books in Finnish, French, Swedish, English and a few other languages. Most of the genres are fictional, but the library also has its own section of non-fiction and art books, DVDs and magazines.