Five Picasso murals sandblasted into the concrete facade of buildings caught in the car bomb planted by the white supremacist Anders Breivik in Oslo in 2011, may be levelled to make way for a new complex of government buildings.
A panel of experts have been consulted about removing the murals and reinstating them in a new complex, however art experts have shown their concerns stating that the murals were designed by Picasso for those site-specific buildings and they should remain in-situ. The rights to the murals are owned by the Picasso family foundation and they must be consulted about their future.
Claudia Andrieu, a legal expert with the Picasso Administration, said they have not been approached yet but are “open to dialogue”. The murals represent Picasso’s first attempts at this type of public art. Both structures were damaged when Breivik set off a van bomb at the foot of H block in July 2011, killing eight people. It was the beginning of a rampage that left 77 dead, mostly young people on the island of Utoeya.
A recent poll by Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang showed public opinion was divided, with 39.5% supporting demolition, while 34.3% thought the buildings should be preserved.