New art museum designed by Italy’s Renzo Piano opens in Oslo

OSLO (AFP) – Norway’s Queen Sonja inaugurated a new contemporary art museum on the shores of the Oslo fjord Thursday, a giant glass, steel and wood complex resembling a sail designed by Italy’s Renzo Piano.

The Astrup Fearnley Museum, a triangular complex with a tilted glass roof, is home to a large collection acquired over the years by a foundation created by the descendants of Norwegian shipping magnate Thomas Fearnley, who died in 1927.

The 7,000-square-meter (75,000-square-foot) museum, made up of two buildings separated by a narrow canal, features works by big-name artists such as American Jeff Koons and Britain’s Damien Hirst.

It was built at a cost of 700 million kroner (95 million euros, $122 million), and financed by real estate companies that developed Oslo’s chic new central neighbourhood Tjuvholmen, where it is located.

Thursday’s inauguration took place in the presence of Renzo Piano, who has designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris and, more recently, The Shard in London, Europe’s tallest skyscraper.

He has also designed the New York Times headquarters and won the 1998 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The Astrup Fearnley Museum opens to the public on Saturday.

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