Norway's decision to tear down a building in central Oslo, damaged in a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist in 2011, has attracted worldwide opposition because the building, itself architecturally significant is also the site of two murals by Pablo Picasso, sand-blasted into its facade.
The building, known as the Y-block because of its shape, and the nearby H-block, have been subjects of a broad petition campaign since the 2014 decision to tear them down. The buildings were designed in 'brutalist' style by noted Norwegian architect Erling Viksjö, and the murals, designed by Picasso and executed by Carl Nesjar, have not been used since the 2011 bombing.
Among the latest to protest is New York's Museum of Modern Art, which has written to Prime Minister Erna Solberg asking that she "reconsider the approved decision for the demolition," saying that "Picasso's murals for the Y-block in many ways signal the beginning of the artist's celebrated works of monumental sculpture that can be found in cities like Chicago and New York."
The government's plans originally included a plan to relocate the murals into the facade of another building, but doubt has been raised whether that is possible, while others have argued that the murals are site-specific and should remain with the building.