The University Museum's cultural history museum to stay closed

The University board has decided that the Cultural History Museum will stay closed until it has been completely rehabilitated to meet safety requirements and modern standards. In the meantime, the public will be able to experience exhibitions from the cultural history collections in the museum's natural history building.

Universitetsmuseet, Kulturhistorie. Museumsbygget.
The board at UiB has decided that the University Museum's cultural history museum will be closed indefinitely until it is completely renovated.
Adnan Icagic, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen

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"The building that houses the cultural-historical collections was completed in 1927 and is a listed building. When the museum was built, the requirements for fire protection, climate control and accessibility were completely different. We have carried out several measures to improve the conditions, but it is unfortunately not sufficient to keep the building open", says Rector of the University of Bergen, Margareth Hagen.

Total rehabilitation required

Condition assessments in recent years have shown that the building has several structural deviations.

In 2020-2021, several measures were carried out, such as the replacement of fire alarm systems and renewal and reinforcement of fire extinguishing equipment, in addition to staffing on all floors.

For the safety of visitors, the building has been temporarily closed since May 2022. Now the board at the University of Bergen has decided that the museum will stay closed until it is completely rehabilitated. The rehabilitation will require government funding.

"The climatic conditions in the nearly 100-year-old building can be harmful to our objects. Conservation and safeguarding of these valuable objects will take time. For security reasons, this work cannot be carried out while the museum is open to the public. We will begin the work of safeguarding our cultural heritage for the future as soon as possible", says museum director Kari Loe Hjelle.

Uvurderlig kirkekunst

The museum is now working to find solutions that will grant the public access to the collections even though the museum building is closed.

"Our collection is unique in Europe and is an invaluable part of our shared cultural heritage. We plan to house temporary cultural history exhibitions on the third floor of the University Museum's natural history museum", says rector Margareth Hagen.

The museum's collections include a number of spectacular altarpieces from the Middle Ages.

"We also have extensive archaeological material, including one of the world's largest collections of objects from the Viking Age. In addition, the museum manages large ethnographic collections and beautiful objects from Norwegian folk culture", says museum director Kari Loe Hjelle.

Now the museum is working to find new ways to display the collections.

"Closing this museum building will be a great loss for the city, but we will come back stronger and will ensure that our cultural heritage is not forgotten in the meantime", says Hjelle.