Munch director still hopes for new museum

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The director of Oslo’s famed but inadequate Munch Museum says he’s not giving up hopes that a new museum will still be built on the city’s eastern waterfront at Bjørvika.

Stein Olav Henrichsen said he was troubled by the Progress Party’s withdrawal of support for the new museum but remained firm that “we must get a new museum as quickly as possible, and not just because of the need for more space. We have important international work that can’t be done if the museum remains as it is now.”

The Munch Museum in Oslo’s Tøyen district outgrew is space long ago and most of the priceless paintings and drawings that the city inherited from Norwegian artist Edvard Munch are stored away in cellars. The existing museum also has suffered from dampness problems and security issues.

The museum proposed at Bjørvika would quadruple the museum’s exhibition space and provide important new facilities to house Munch’s legacy. The Progress Party now claims, however, that it’s too expensive and is proposing alternative sites, as are several other parties. Without the Progress Party’s support, city government lost its majority vote to approve the Bjørvika project.

Henrichsen told newspaper Aftenposten that launching a new location process would be “most unfortunate” as it’s bound to take even more time. He’s not giving up, and continues to press for the Bjørvika location.

Views and News staff