A long-running battle of where to place the Scandinavian capital’s new Munch museum is now over following cross-Party agreement. Spanish architect Juan Herreros is understandably delighted.
Conservative (H), Liberal (V), Christian Democrat (KrF), and Socialist Left (SV) politicians announced their historic decision that the much-disputed project would be placed in Bjørvika, central Oslo.
It will now join buildings such as the new Opera House, Oslo S train station, and high-rise offices Barcode.
“We’ve never given up. We have always had great respect for the democratic process in Norway and have followed it closely. This is a wonderful day!” Juan Herreros told NRK, Tuesday.
‘Lambda’ has been dogged by problems since the Spanish architect won the design competition in 2009.
Oslo City councillors had decided to move the current Munch Museum, located in Tøyen to the east, the previous year.
Up to NOK 100 million (some EUR 13.24 million/GBP 11.33 million/USD 17.13 million) has been spent on the project, with local politicians, experts, and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren) bickering on the building’s façade, appearance, and placement.
The building became a local election issue. Progress (FrP) voted to postpone a decision until after 2009’s ballot. Labour (Ap), the Socialist Left, and The Red Party (Rødt) campaigned to construct a new museum at Tøyen.
Suggestions to build it in inner city area Gamlebyen (the old part of Oslo) came from the Christian Democrats.
At the beginning of December 2011, several European art experts commented to The Foreigner they urged politicians find a solution.
Oslo City Council officially shelved ‘Lambda’ some 10 days later, with a majority in favour of either Tøyen or the National Gallery, located at Tullinløkka near the Royal Palace Park.
“Oslo politicians have finally arrived at a majority solution for the Munch Museum after many years of discussion and controversy arrived at a solution for the majority Munch Museum,” said Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik about today’s decision. “I think there are very many who are relieved. The decision is important in Oslo, the country, and art.”