Opening of new Norwegian National Museum delayed until 2022

Opening of new Norwegian National Museum delayed until 2022
Photo: Annar Bjørgli / Nasjonalmuseet
Construction delays have resulted in the postponement of the opening of the new National Museum in Oslo until 2022.

The project, located at Vestbanen in the Norwegian capital and already subject to an earlier six-month delay, has been further set back by “the effects of Covid-19 combined with delays in deliveries and installation of security doors”, the National Museum said in a statement.

The National Museum had been scheduled to take over the new building from constructors Statsbygg in the spring. That is no longer possible, with the installation of art now unable to commence before the beginning of next year, according to the statement.

“The new National Museum is a complex construction project with strict security, temperature and climate requirements. The construction workers are finished, but some testing and problem correction is outstanding,” Statsbygg CEO Harald Nikolaisen said in the statement.

Although security doors, which have previously been cited as a cause of delay on the project, are now functioning “almost as they should”, some electronic, climate regulation and control centre work remains to be finished.

Covid-19 has impacted both the Statsbygg construction work and operation of the National Museum itself. The existing museum is closed to visitors at the current time due to Oslo’s social lockdown.

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Transport, logistics and quarantine on specialists and construction workers from aboard have all affected Statsbygg’s work, according to the museum’s statement.

As such some uncertainty remains as to a definite opening date for the new museum.

National Museum director Karin Hindsbo said it would “hopefully not be too far into 2022 that we can open our doors to the public.

The new National Museum, at just under 55,000 square metres, will be the largest art museum in the Nordics. Its construction budget is 6.1 billion kroner.

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