Oslo’s Munch Museum in the Tøyen area of Oslo will remain open through all of next year and right up until its art is moved to its new museum building due to open in June 2020. “It’s extra important for us to stay open when the National Gallery closes its doors in January,” said the head of cultural issues for the City of Oslo, which owns the Munch Museum’s vast collection of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s works.
Sparks flew recently when National Museum officials announced that its National Gallery will close in January, 18 months before the new National Museum now under construction is due to open. The National Museum cited security issues for as plans are laid for the move of the National Gallery’s art to new quarters.
Munch Museum officials, also facing a major move to a new museum under construction at Bjørvika in Oslo, don’t think such a closure is necessary. Museum director Stein Olav Henrichsen said the existing Munch Museum has planned for several years to stay open right up until the new museum opens.
“This is about having a well-prepared organization, and about our obligations to the public,” Henrichsen said. Some Munch Museum staff will move into the new museum as early as December 2019, meaning two museums will require funding at the same time, but saving money wasn’t as important as keeping Munch’s art on public display. The museum is also lending Munch’s art to major exhibitions in Russia, England and China next year, with another exhibition opening in Japan later this autumn.