More than a year after construction finally began on Norway’s new national art museum in Oslo, Queen Sonja and Crown Princess Mette-Marit laid down its cornerstone in the form of a box filled with newspaper articles, stamps and other documents from this year.
The box was then tucked into a backpack that was placed on artist Tori Wrånes, who was then hoisted up by a crane and flown over the National Museum site just behind the Nobel Peace Center on Oslo’s western waterfront. Wrånes sang Solveigs sang from Peer Gynt while airborne.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg, also present at the ceremony this week, said she didn’t think Norwegians were fully aware of how large the new museum will be, “or what opportunities it will provide for exciting cultural experiences.”
Debate continues over what’s to become of Norway’s existing National Gallery, which currently houses the paintings and other national treasures to be moved to the new museum. Protests were swift when news broke last week that the adjacent Museum of Cultural History may expand into the space, with National Gallery patriots insisting it should continue to house art.
The new National Museum is due to open in 2019.