Munch collector to open private museum

Petter Olsen plans cultural complex outside Oslo



Petter Olsen, the Norwegian billionaire shipping magnate who inherited a large collection of works by the artist Edvard Munch from his father, is planning to open a private museum.

Mr Olsen owns a complex in Hvitsten, 50 km south of Oslo, which he wants to turn into a cultural site with a museum, a guesthouse for artists and an “ecological” restaurant.

Parts of the complex will open next year and the whole site is to be finished in 2013, to mark the 150th anniversary of Munch’s birth.

Mr Olsen won a bitter lawsuit against his brother, Fred, in 1997 over parts of their father’s Munch collection, which was divided between them. Fred Olsen sold eight paintings from his half of the collection for £17m last year at Sotheby’s (The Art Newspaper, February 2006).