The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, July 12, 2014


Five Pablo Picasso murals at heart of debate after Anders Behring Breivik bombing
People pass Picasso's mural art work "The Fisherman" on the government quarter's 'Y building' in Oslo, Norway on August 6, 2013. The art work survived the 22nd July 2011 bombing unscathed, but other government buildings bearing the artist's murals were severely damaged. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage fears that Picasso's first monumental concrete murals, which were made between the late 1950s and the early 1970s for two government buildings in Oslo, may be destroyed. The buildings were severely damaged during the deadly terrorist attack in the Norwegian capital in July 2011. The government is now considering whether to demolish the Modernist buildings that form the regjeringskvartal or government quarter. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN.

By: Pierre-Henry Deshayes

OSLO (AFP).- Five Picasso murals that survived Anders Behring Breivik's bombing of an Oslo government block in 2011 are now at the heart of a divisive debate in Norway on the buildings' fate.

The murals drawn by the Spanish master in the late 1950s and 1960s -- "The Beach", "The Seagull", "Satyr and Faun" and two versions of "The Fishermen" -- risk being removed from the location for which they were conceived if the damaged buildings are torn down.

The government is currently mulling whether to demolish the structures or repair them.

Picasso's artwork adorns the concrete interiors and exteriors of two of the government buildings erected in central Oslo in the post-war period.

The murals, four of which were drawn specifically for the buildings and are done in a childlike style with simple geometric figures, were reproduced by Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar who sandblasted them into the concrete.

They mark Picasso's first foray into concrete murals.

The so-called "H block", a 17-storey tower that houses the prime minister's offices, is "an international treasure," said Norwegian Environment Minister Baard Vegar Solhjell, who is also tasked with cultural heritage issues.

"If it were demolished it would lead to an international debate," he told daily Dagsavisen.

Breivik kicked off his July 22, 2011 rampage that led to the deaths of 77 people by setting off a van bomb at the foot of "H block". The blast killed eight people, ravaged the structure, and badly damaged several neighbouring ministries.

At the end of June, a panel of experts decided that the most economical solution would be to demolish four buildings in the government block, including "H block" and another ministerial building, "Y block" -- the two that feature the five Picasso works.

The art itself would not be demolished, but cut up and used elsewhere.

But given the fact the murals were designed with the original architecture in mind, many are now asking whether they can be placed elsewhere.

They can't, say art experts and media commentators.

Citing the historical importance of "H block", both architecturally, politically and artistically, the head of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage Joern Holme has called for it to be repaired.

"We can't demolish the best (parts) of a cultural era just because we find it ugly today," Holme said.


-- 'Open to dialogue' --


"That's not worthy of a cultural nation. Destroying the best thing that Norway did in a particular era of its history is contrary to all of our values," he added.

A severe-looking tower that is reminiscent, albeit on a smaller scale, of the UN headquarters in New York and designed by Norwegian architect Erling Viksjoe, "H block" never won over the hearts of all Norwegians.

A poll published in July in daily Verdens Gang showed that 39.5 percent of people wanted to see it demolished while 34.3 percent thought it should be kept.

"We now have a golden opportunity to get rid of this brutal, ugly and degrading architecture that has been erected in Oslo in the past 80 years," artist Dag Hol wrote in a comment in the daily Aftenposten last month.

"The architecture (of "H block") recalls more than anything else the dreariness, desolation and anthropophobia of communist eastern Europe and the Soviet Union," wrote Hol, who is not well-known among Norwegians but whose comments garnered much attention.

Furthermore, Picasso's family owns the rights to his works and has to be consulted on what happens to the murals.

"Picasso's works were created for this particular building. You can't just take them down like that, without asking," said Claudia Andrieu, a legal expert with the Picasso Administration.

"We have not been approached, which is both preferable and necessary," she added, underlining that the administration was "open to dialogue".

Norway's government is to decide early next year whether to repair the buildings, or partially or totally demolish them.




© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse



Today's News

August 19, 2013

MoMA opens survey of works from the first half of the 20th century by more than 50 artists

Five Pablo Picasso murals at heart of debate after Anders Behring Breivik bombing

Iconic Southern California Museum unveils plan for a stunning sculptured metal exterior

The most expensive road car ever sold at auction: 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider sells for $27.5 million

A former assistant to artist Jasper Johns has been charged with stealing 22 works

Global expert says art collectors reach out for "best-of-best" antique Oriental rugs

The photography collection of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt receives a significant addition to its holdings

Mullin Automotive Museum to present 'The Art of Bugatti' exhibition in Spring 2014

New Maine specialty plate with artwork by Robert Indiana to support the arts in the state

Legacy of The Sisters of St. Ann celebrated at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Love at First site: Exhibition of paintings by Greg Miller on view at William Turner Gallery

Louisiana Contemporary among new exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Outpost by the Indian artist Samar Singh Jodha on view at Arsenale Novissimo

Super Dakota: Damien Bertelle-Rogier set to open new gallery space in Brussels

New film works offer portal to the past

Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art, Duisburg exhibits the work of Eberhard Havekost

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art presents "Roger Shimomura: Minidoka on My Mind"

Snake festival charms villagers in east India

Dreamworks Animation: Celebrating twenty years of friendly ogres and flying dragons

Energy of Time: Concentric Viewings by Paolo Mazzanti on view at Palazzo Lazzarini

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Conservation treatment, research and touristic-education program surrounding the Ghent Altarpiece

2.- Exhibition offers an opportunity to discover the wide-ranging materials used to create colour in paintings

3.- Amsterdam revolts against United States architect Daniel Libeskind Holocaust memorial

4.- Claude Monet 'Water Lilies' painting sells for $54 million at Sotheby's in London

5.- Spain's Queen Letizia opens "El Greco and modern painting" exhibition at The Prado

6.- Hopper's Nighthawks tops the list for Art Everywhere US: Largest outdoor art show ever

7.- Rijksmuseum opens exhibition of fourteen monumental sculptures by Alexander Calder

8.- Association of Art Museum Directors sanctions Delaware Art Museum for sale of work of art

9.- Whitney concludes Uptown exhibition programming with Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

10.- Live art by top international artists steals the show at 45th edition of Art Basel fair



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site