Lines have been forming outside Norway’s popular National Gallery, with fans keen to visit one last time before it closes on January 13. Its collections that include many of the country’ most cherished paintings will be moved to the new National Museum, due to open in 2020.
“The huge interest is likely a combination of the pending closure in mid-January along with those wanting to see the popular Sohlberg exhibition before that,” Eirik Kydland, communications director at the museum, told newspaper Aftenposten. It reported how folks stood in long lines outside in the cold during the recent Christmas and New Year holidays. Many were still waiting to get in just an hour before the National Gallery was due to close for the day.
Kydland said around 2,000 people visited every day during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Around 85,000 have visited the exhibition devoted to Harald Sohlberg, the Norwegian artist best known for his landscapes and iconic Winter night in Rondane.
In order to accommodate more people who want a final glimpse of the National Gallery with its original collections, Kydland said opening hours will be extended until 9pm until doors close on the 13th. The building is due to be renovated after its art has been moved to the new museum, and then reopen for other artistic pursuits.