This week, the National Museum opened in Oslo. More than 6,500 works have been on display, among which are many from the collection of Cecily and Katherine Frederiksen – daughters of shipowner and businessman John Frederiksen.
He is considered the richest Norwegian in the world – according to capital He had an estimated fortune of 114 billion kroner in 2021. However, Frederiksen holds Cypriot citizenship, thus avoiding taxation in Norway.
Part of the Frederiksen estate has been transferred to two daughters, Catherine and Cecily, who are also responsible for the new Frederiksen collection that will be on display when the National Museum opens its doors on Saturday.
The agreement concluded by the Museum with the daughters of Frederiksen requires a period of ten years. Among other things, the museum will borrow parts from the shipowners’ art collection, and Frederiksen’s daughters will fund several large exhibitions and research programme. to me Aftenposten Hundreds of millions of kroner will be used to purchase artworks and invest in joint ventures.
– Very problematic
Among those critical of the Frederiksen Girls’ Art Exhibition at the National Gallery is the editor of the art magazine Kunstkritikk, Marianne Eng.
The problem for me is the Fredriksen family and what they stand for. Cecily and Katherine Frederiksen are the heirs of John Frederiksen, who is the richest man in Norway, but does not pay taxes to NorwayEnge tells Dagbladet.
The Frederiksen Group, for its part, wrote that it uses Norwegian suppliers for oil services, banks and brokerages, and that it indirectly provides tax revenue to Norway. capital in the year 2020.
However, Engi criticizes the girls for getting an agreement with the museum.
– Are these the people we’re going to give a room at the National Museum? I think this is a big problem, says Engy, adding:
– I would have gone against this agreement, no matter how wonderful the art they display in the museum.
She also believes that the sisters benefit from cooperation with the National Museum.
– It gives the impression that people can buy the museum, and the sisters obviously benefit from the cooperation. It will increase the value of their collection that they collaborate with the Museum. I see it as a form of “art wash.”says Enge.
Dagbladet provided the criticism that emerged in the case to press contact to Cecilie and Kathrine Fredriksen, who confirmed they had passed it on. The query has not been answered yet.
We must seek cooperation
Dagbladet submitted the criticism that appeared in the case to the National Museum, and asked several questions about the case.
When asked why the agreement was signed with Frederiksen’s daughters, and what assessments the museum has made, Partnership Director Anne-Bert Rasmussen-Snelsberg replied that the National Museum is required to have policy guidelines to increase its own profits.
– Then we must seek to cooperate with partners who have the will and the financial capacity to contribute, so that the National Museum can give the best possible presentation to the public, says Snelsberg to Dagbladet, and continues:
Our assessment was – and continues to be – that this collaboration greatly enhances the Museum’s public offerings, and that it gives us resources to conduct further research on our art. Snelsberg says this type of collaboration will become increasingly common in the future.
– How do you think it might affect your integrity if the daughters of the richest man in Norway display their art collection?
The history of the National Museum is closely linked to the collaboration with collectors and private donors. Many of our central works have been donated by individuals, such as “Winter Night in Rondin” by Harald Suhlberg, and “Madonna” and “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. Private collaborations have been important in building the National Museum’s collections and exhibition displays over the years, says Snelsberg.
“We’re sure we’ll be featuring the Fredricksen Sisters group, just as we very much appreciate the work we’re showing from other partner groups,” says Snelsberg.
dedicated to mother
According to the National Museum Locations Collaborating with the Frederiksen daughters will give the Museum access to art not currently represented in the Museum’s collection. This includes modern art and contemporary art.
The room in which the art is displayed is dedicated to the deceased mother of two Frederiksen sisters, Inger Katharina Astrup Frederiksen, who passed away in 2006.
The Frederiksen Family Art Company also funds five specially-produced exhibitions with international contemporary artists on Lässallen in the museum, says Snelsberg. According to the plan, four exhibitions will then be opened in the next few years every two years.
We have no motives or intentions
When collaborations with the Museum and Catherine and Cecily Frederiksen became known in 2019, the debate raged even then.
Then the sisters responded to the criticism in a column in NRK.
– To critically shed light on an agreement concluded between individuals and the most important cultural institution in the country, we believe it is quite natural, and we are following the discussion with great interest, as the sisters wrote in the article, and added:
– but we experience that the debate gives us motives and intentions that we do not have, and that it wrongly portrays the ongoing cooperation with the National Museum, they wrote.
They added that they had nothing to hide, and had no desire to control the museum’s business. They also wrote that they respect the freedom and independence that a museum should have.
At the end of the article, they wrote:
– The purpose of this collaboration is to give the National Museum access to the Museum of Art that otherwise would not have appeared, in a way that the Museum itself wants to do.
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