New cultural district for Oslo

OSLO. The city of Oslo has announced a plan to move several museums and its main library to a central waterside location near the harbour and close to the new NKr3.3bn ($500m) National Opera house.

The Munch Museum, the Stenersen Museum, which houses three private collections of Norwegian art, and the library will move as will four branches of the National Museum (the National Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the Design Mus­eum and the administrative departments).

A series of architectural competitions for the new buildings are to be held next year, with completion scheduled for 2014. The reorganisation will make Oslo “one of Europe’s most outstanding cultural cities”, says Oslo City Council chair Erling Lae.

Jorun Christoffersen, a spokeswoman for the Munch Museum, says: “Finally we will get a building that matches our needs.” After the 2004 theft of two paintings, The Scream and Madonna, the museum’s security system was upgraded, but Ms Christoffersen says it is still not suitable for major exhibitions.

In 2012 the privately-funded Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art will also open in a new waterfront building designed by Renzo Piano.

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