News Articles Library Event Photos Contact Search

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 13:25

Newly Restored Munch Frieze Could Be At Risk

'The Sun,' part of Edvard Munch's frieze at the University of Oslo. 'The Sun,' part of Edvard Munch's frieze at the University of Oslo.

A monumental frieze made between 1909 and 1916 by Edvard Munch (1863-1944) adorns the walls of the University of Oslo’s assembly hall in Norway. The frieze, which includes 11 different Expressionist paintings, underwent a lengthy restoration and conservation process a last year. However, just 20 months after the project was completed, the frieze might be at risk.

Tine Frøysaker, a Norwegian conservator and professor at the University of Oslo, announced that while the exterior of the building that houses the frieze is being restored, harmful dust and debris could be damaging Munch’s masterpiece. Frøysaker, who worked on the frieze, explained that the plaster that is being knocked off the building’s exterior is releasing particles that contain alkaline, which is highly abrasive. If these particles come in contact with the frieze, which is likely since the building is old and impossible to seal off, the paintings could be damaged. Steps have been taken to lessen any impairment by increasing the building’s internal air pressure, which will hopefully keep most particles out of the building.

Frøysaker said that this potentially harmful situation could have been avoided if the exterior restoration was completed before tackling the Munch frieze inside. Work on the building’s exterior is expected to finish during the summer of 2013. Upon completion, conservators will need to assess the paintings to determine if additional restoration is needed.

Additional Info

  • Category: News