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New National Museum building approved by Norwegian Parliament

Press Release   •   Jun 07, 2013 11:35 BST

The Norwegian Parliament has Thursday 6 June approved the construction of a new building to house the National Museum on the site of the former Railway Station West, or Vestbanen, in Oslo. The museum will be Norway’s biggest cultural centre. The new building will profile the National Museum as an art and culture centre of international repute.

“This is a big day for Norway and art,” says National Museum director Audun Eckhoff. “The new museum building will give Oslo and Norway significantly stronger and clearer positioning in the visual arts. It will bring to art a lower threshold and broader public appeal than it has today. I am looking forward to welcoming visitors to the National Museum in its new domicile at Vestbanen.”

The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design was established in 2003 as a merger of the National Gallery, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Museum – Architecture. One of the requirements at the time the museum was established in 2003 was the construction of a new building to house these museums under one roof.

“Norway needs a national museum with the necessary building facilities to administer and present visual art in a way that reflects the cultural and social significance of the subject matter,” adds Svein Aaser, chairman of the board of the National Museum. “The board members want to see many more people enjoying the National Museum’s exhibitions.”

The museum will provide an important and vital meeting place for the public and the arts, and will be a museum for the whole country. The National Museum’s location and combined cultural strength will in itself give art, architecture and design new prominence in the eyes of the public and improved accessibility to a broader segment of the population.

“Finally, it appears that the National Museum will acquire the building facilities necessary to meet the requirements of responsible modern-day management and engaging presentation of visual art,” says Minister for Culture Hadia Tajik. “I am certain that the new building will generate greater interest in the collections of the National Museum among a much broader segment of the population.”

Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten won the architect competition held in 2010 with their forum artis concept. Construction is projected for completion in 2019. 

Facts National Museum at Vestbanen

  • Building contractor: Statsbygg
  • Architects: Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH
  • Engineering consultants: Rambøll
  • Client: Ministry of Culture
  • Total area: 54,600 m2 / Exhibition area: 13,000 m2
  • National Museum – Architecture will remain in its present domicile at Bankplassen in Oslo, which opened in 2008
  • Projected completion date: 2019
  • Cost framework: NOK 5,327 million (700 mill. EUR)

Read more about the new National Museum at Vestbanen Here

Key figures National Museum 2012

  • No. of visitors in Oslo: 513,090
  • No. of visitors touring exhibitions in Norway: 112,365
  • No. of visitors abroad: 203,377
  • Collection: 332,964 works
  • No. of employees: 159,64 man-labour years in 2012 (permanent staff)
Contact: Director of Communications Jean-Yves Gallardo 

jyg@nasjonalmuseet.no, tel.: +47 992 89 629

Nasjonalmuseet - We Build A New Future For Art!

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