Art: the brand new National Museum of Norway establishes Oslo "as one of the great cities of culture in Europe"

Art: the brand new National Museum of Norway establishes Oslo “as one of the great cities of culture in Europe”

A huge, almost blind gray monolith, surmounted by a hall of light made of marble and glass, now stands a few steps from the port of Oslo. This is the new National Museum of Norway, which completes a 30-year-old project to bring together in one place the collections of four pre-existing museums, the old National Gallery, the Museum of Architecture, Decorative Arts and finally the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Its dimensions and 13,000 m2 of exhibition space make it the third largest museum in Europe after the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. It will bring together collections ranging from Antiquity to contemporary art with one major ambition: that of completing the spectacular cultural shift of the Nordic capital. One million visitors are expected in the first year.

However, the project was controversial, architecturally, as well as budgetary: it indeed cost nearly 600 million euros, 90% financed by public money, which is very rare in a world cultural landscape. where private patronage has become the rule.

But that gives Norway all the leeway to make it a powerful tool of influence, explains Daphné Bétard, journalist at Fine Arts Magazine. “These are collections that belong to the State. These are exhibitions very linked to diplomacy. They will be able to organize major events, events in partnership with the largest museums in the world. to position itself very clearly as one of the great European cultural cities.”

The Edvard Munch lounge at the new National Museum in Oslo, Norway, June 3, 2022. (GEIR OLSEN / NTB)

One work obviously occupies a central place, that of Edvard Munch. The first of five versions of the famous Shout that he made is kept in this museum. Another major cultural institution, the Munch Museum, also opened just eight months ago, not far from the National Museum. “Munch is a wonderful representative for Oslo and Norway. They have created a whole circuit in the footsteps of Munch, by the sea, in his studios, in all the places where he paints, especially the one where he painted The Scream. They really value this artist.”

“The Munch Museum would be our Picasso Museum or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.”

Daphné Bétard, journalist at “Beaux-Arts Magazine”

at franceinfo

“It’s the kind of museum that attracts crowds and then allows you to bounce back on the avant-garde, modernity, the role of the artist, etc..”, continues Daphne Bétard. Moreover, it is in collaboration with the Munch Museum in Oslo that the Musée d’Orsay will devote in the fall an exhibition of the Norwegian painterto discover from September 20th.

Oslo stands out as a cultural capital – Reportage Louise Bodet.

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