Museums Norway

Fire breaks out at Oslo's Astrup Fearnley Museum

The blaze on the new building's top floor was quickly put out Monday afternoon and no art or staff was in danger

Firefighters contain the blaze

Only months before its scheduled opening, a fire broke out at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art’s new building in Oslo, designed by Renzo Piano.

Monday afternoon, a fire went up on the top floor, but firefighters had it under control by around 4pm. The museum reported via Twitter that no art or museum personnel had yet been moved into the building.

The new museum is still under construction and is due to house the privately-owned collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Olafur Eliasson and Jeff Koons. The opening was scheduled for September this year.

It remains unclear how extensive the damage is and what caused it.

UPDATE, 15 MAY: A museum spokesman says that the fire was restricted to an office floor, which is not part of the museum, although it is above an exhibition area. “Due to the strong winds we were afraid that the museum also might catch fire, but that was avoided. We were also fortunate that the material used for fighting the fire did not affect the museum area as we had feared,” he says, adding that the museum is due to open as planned at the end of September.

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