‘we agreed that you should avoid this until you quit’

Posted: 07/04/2014 in News & Analysis
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‘Nationalist parties – [such] as FRP [Fremskrittspartiet (the Norwegian government coalition partner Progress Party)] – are dangerous; they belittle concepts like human common sense, human rights and equality. As an acid, they corrode our souls and our respect for others. [Nasjonalistpartier – som FrP – er farlige; de bagatelliserer begreper som menneskelig fellesfølelse, menneskerettigheter og likhet. Som en syre etser de bort vår sjel og vår respekt for andre.]’ So said the (exiting) Director of Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Pontus Kyander.(1)

I responded to that with admiration and inspiration. His boss, the Executive Director of the Museums of South Trøndelag, Suzette Paasche, responded, ‘you have started a hell of a racket…. I thought we agreed that you should avoid this until you quit. You get this on your CV and it doesn’t rightly help to strengthen the museum. Unnecessary!’

Evidently, the State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Julie Brodtkorb, and the Minister of Culture, Thorhild Widvey, had called the state secretary’s brother, Rasmus Brodtkorb, the Chairman of Museums in South Trøndelag (Museene i Sør-Trøndelag). Widvey said that she wanted to ‘obtain information’, not to ‘instruct[…] politically’, but that she nonetheless regretted the call.

I heard this Frightful Message for Trondheim Kunstmuseum (Norway) via Art Leaks. [I meant to post this weeks ago.]


1: Kyander chose to leave the directorship due to other, private conflicts over the management of the museum.


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