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Controversial 'Nobel Center' finds new home in Stockholm

 

Agence France-Presse

Stockholm, Sweden  /  Sat, February 8, 2020  /  05:01 pm
Controversial 'Nobel Center' finds new home in Stockholm

Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, poses after a press conference presenting the future Nobel Center to be built on Blasieholmen, along Stockholm's central waterfront on May 24, 2016 in Stockholm. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)

An ambitious but controversial new center for activities surrounding the Nobel prizes, including the prestigious award ceremony and a Nobel museum, has found a new location in Stockholm, the Nobel Foundation said Friday.

In 2018, a Swedish court ruled against the construction of an already retooled version of the planned "Nobel Center" in the heart of Stockholm, saying that the building "would affect the readability of Stockholm's historical development as a port, shipping and trading city".

The proposed Nobel Center, which is to house a museum and serve as a site for the Nobel foundation's outreach activities, has had many critics, including King Carl XVI Gustaf, because of its planned size, location and color. 

"This will be a new beginning for our efforts to make the Nobel Center a reality." Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation, said in a statement Friday.

The new site is in the area of Slussen, which connects two of Stockholm's islands and is about one kilometer from the originally intended Blasieholmen peninsula.

Heikensten said the centre will "assume a new shape on a new site".

The previous project, designed by British designer David Chipperfield, consisted of a shining brass building, in stark contrast to the 19th-century customs house slated for demolition that now occupies the space.

In rejecting the building permit the court said the construction would "cause significant damage" to the preservation of Blasieholmen's cultural heritage and environment.

The Nobel Foundation had originally hoped to launch work on the new center in 2017, but now aims for 2025 or 2026.

The foundation said Friday it will now "initiate the process of seeking funding for the project and appointing an architect".

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