On Friday, October 22, the new Munch museum – rebranded as MUNCH – in Oslo’s Bjørvika was officially opened by King Harald and Queen Sonja.
Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP), and Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (AP) were also among the many people present during the opening.
In his speech, King Harald said that Edvard Munch‘s work is common property and that his art belongs to us all, not just Norway.
“I think I can say – on behalf of everyone – that we have been looking forward to this. Finally, we can gather, and soon we will enter the big doors to a new attraction – not only in our capital, but in Norway, and in the world,” the King said.
“Munch painted his own life and at the same time the existence of us all,” King Harald emphasized.
“Munch’s new life“
“Today, we mark the start of Munch’s new life,” the King noted. He prompted a laugh among the audience when adding that the complicated moving process was accompanied by not just one scream, but eight.
Before the rope cutting, King Harald said he needed some help from someone who knows both the art and the building very well: “I have the pleasure of asking the Queen to cut the cord.”
Queen Sonja then cut the cord, and the Royal Family walked a red carpet into the museum for a tour.
It was Crown Princess Mette-Marit who laid the initial foundation stone for the museum on October 14, 2016.
A world-class museum
In his speech, City Councilor Raymond Johansen (AP) addressed a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in getting a new Munch museum.
“Munch sought atmosphere and light through art and sought to give others light through his art,” said Johansen, who also pointed out that Munch created universal art and now has a world-class museum.
Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen (SV) pointed out that the new museum also gives children the opportunity to experience art in a new way.
Five times larger
The new Munch museum employs 350 people, and the interior consists of exhibition rooms, a shop, a couple of restaurants, a research library, and workshops.
It also boasts five-times-larger exhibition areas than the old museum on Tøyen and has 13 floors, of which 11 are purely exhibition halls.
In addition to the municipality’s collection of around 28,000 original works by Munch, the building will also house the Stenersen Collection. Over 200 of the works will be exhibited permanently.
Years of debate
The old Munch Museum was built on Tøyen in 1963 to house Edvard Munch’s collections, which the artist bequeathed to the Municipality of Oslo after his death in 1944.
In 2008, Oslo City Council finally agreed to a new Munch museum in Bjørvika, after a years-long debate. Spanish architectural firm Herreros Arquitectos designed the new museum.
Source: ©️ NTB Scanpix / #NorwayTodayTravel
Do you have a news tip for Norway Today? We want to hear it. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org