Norway’s 'ugly' buildings - with a touch of Picasso's genius - under threat of demolition
Nearly 40 per cent of Norwegians are in favour of demolishing the complex
Norway has become embroiled in a heated debate over proposals to demolish “ugly” government buildings damaged in Anders Behring Breivik’s bomb attack because they contain priceless Picasso murals.
The five murals – The Beach, The Seagull, Satyr and Faun and two versions of The Fisherman – were sandblasted on to the walls of the so-called H-block complex of buildings in central Oslo in the 1950s and 1960s.
But the austere complex was badly damaged in July 2011, when Breivik’s bomb killed eight people. He went on to massacre 69 Norwegian Labour Party members, most of whom were teenagers, attending a summer camp on the fjord island of Utoya.
The government is considering proposals to demolish the buildings, which several leading artists have described as ugly and “reminiscent” of Communist eastern Europe. “We now have a golden opportunity to get rid of them” argued the painter Dag Hol. Surveyors have said the cheapest way to deal with the buildings would be to demolish them. Under their proposals, the murals would be taken down brick by brick and reinstalled elsewhere.
Polls have suggested nearly 40 per cent of Norwegians are in favour of demolition compared with 34 per cent against. However, the plan faces stiff opposition from Norway’s directorate for cultural heritage which insists the buildings should be repaired and the Picassos kept on their original sites, whatever the cost. “We can’t demolish the best parts of a cultural era just because we find it ugly today,” insisted director Jorn Holme.
A lawyer for the Picasso family has insisted the works were specifically created for the buildings and cannot be “just taken down”. A final decision is expected early next year.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
People are criticising Fifa World Cup sponsors with corrupt corporate logos
Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
British tourists complain impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Fifa corruption live: Sebb Blatter warns 'more bad news may follow' as he clings to power
Skull found in Spain could be the world's first-ever murder victim
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...