More money for Munch paintings

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Oslo’s city government has agreed to allocate more funding for conservation of the city’s vast collection of paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The city inherited the paintings when the artist died, and now needs to take care of them.

Staff at Oslo's Munch Museum is getting needed funding to preserve hundreds of Munch paintings. PHOTO: Views and News

Funding has been an ongoing problem for years, and Japanese investors have often stepped in to help preserve Munch’s legacy. Major energy firm Idemitsu, for example, recently handed over another NOK 4 million to help finance a Munch jubilee in 2013, and there’s also been direct investment in the museum itself.

Now the city is coming forward with needed funding to refurbish as many as 300 Munch paintings that have suffered while in storage at the Munch Museum. The status of all 1,131 Munch paintings in the city’s collection must be checked before they’re deemed capable of being moved to a new museum building planned to open on Oslo’s waterfront in 2014.

Around 200 to 300 of the paintings are believed to need emergency conservation work, reports newspaper Aftenposten. The Munch Museum will thus get an extra NOK 19.7 million next year and a total of an extra NOK 47 million over the next four years.

Edvard Munch, who died in Oslo in 1944, willed a total of more than 1,100 paintings, 4,700 drawings, 15,000 graphics, six sculptures, 500 printing blocks, 2,240 books plus a collection of letters, documents and photographs.

Views and News staff