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PROPOSAL TO SELL PHOTOGRAPH BY MUNCH IN OSLO MUSEUM TO POMPIDOU PROVES CONTROVERSIAL



Proposal to sell photograph by Munch in Oslo museum to Pompidou proves controversial
Politicians to decide whether to deaccession self-portrait bequeathed to the city

By Clemens Bomsdorf. Web only

Published online: 27 December 2012

A proposal to sell a vintage print of a photograph by Edvard Munch to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, has been met with criticism in Oslo.

The print is in the collection of the Munch Museum, Oslo. One of an edition of five, it shows Munch in profile photographed in his garden at Ekely, around 1930. 

At the end of November, the government of Oslo put before the city’s parliament the proposed deaccession of the photograph, part of the collection that the artist bequeathed to the city. In the proposal document it says: “The sale to a public international institution will ensure that Munch’s work is made accessible for the public and by that secures the [artist’s] will.” 

But Ivar Johansen, a member of the city parliament for the left-wing party SV, says that in Munch’s will, the artist said he wanted his works to be kept together. Any sale runs counter to Munch’s wishes, Johansen says. A long-term loan would be a better solution in order to increase access Munch’s works, he says, fearing that if the sale goes ahead other will follow. 

The city government is asking parliament to vote on whether to sell further photographs by Munch, “when such cases are coming up and are justified from a professional point of view”, says the report to politicians. A decision is due to be made in 2013. 


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