Artwork for Museum House Debated by City Council Skip to content

Artwork for Museum House Debated by City Council

A basic exhibition on Icelandic art history will open at the Reykjavík Museum House on Hverfisgata at the end of March and suggestions have been made for two sculptures to be placed outside the building during the exhibition. Neither artwork is favored by the members of Reykjavík City Council.

“I would have wanted more suggestions submitted to the [culture] council and I would have wanted it taken into account that there are 100 years since women earned the right to vote. Like here in Hljómskálagarðurinn, where we’re standing now, there’s a special grove with works by women, female artists, and I would have wanted something like that,” Independence Party city council representative Júlíus Vífill Ingvarsson told RÚV.

The proposed sculptures are ‘Holan’ (‘The Hole’), which is an unpainted block of concrete by Ásmundur Ásmundsson, and a statue by Bertel Thorvaldsen, which is a self-portrait. The statue is currently located in the park Hljómskálagarðurinn near the Reykjavík Pond and ‘Holan’ stands by the seaside road Sæbraut.

‘Holan’ has been approved by the city’s culture council but the City Council has yet to make a decision.

Out of the two options, Júlíus said he would prefer the statue by Bertel. “Without passing judgment or ruling out the other work, I feel that [the statue] would look better in that location outside the very classical building.”

The Museum House used to be known as Þjóðmenningarhúsið, or the Culture House. It was designed by Danish architect Johannes Magdahl Nielsen and was built in 1906-1908 to facilitate the National Library of Iceland. It has also functioned as a museum of natural history and the mediaeval Icelandic manuscripts were displayed there for a long time.

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