PHOTOS: See the opening of Oslo’s new MUNCH museum

King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit with "Scream" during the opening of the new Munch Museum in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
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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.

King Harald and Queen Sonja (center) open the new Munch in Oslo with the mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, and the city council leader, Raymond Johansen, holding the silk ribbon. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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 in Bjørvika in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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.

From right: King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit during the opening of the new Munch in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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.

King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit look at the painting Scream during the opening of MUNCH in Oslo. Here they are with Munch director Stein Olav Henrichsen. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre greets Eivor Evenrud and the Director of MUNCH, Stein Olav Henrichsen, during the opening of the new Munch Museum in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen (SV) pointed out that the new museum also gives children the opportunity to experience art in a new way.

Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, King Harald, and Queen Sonja take in Madonna during the opening of the new Munch in Oslo. Here they are with Munch director Stein Olav Henrichsen. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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.

King Harald and MUNCH Director Stein Olav Henrichsen during the opening of the new Munch in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit thanks MUNCH Director Stein Olav Henrichsen and the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, after the opening of the new Munch in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

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

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