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Purchase of Queen Sonja’s art under strong criticism

Queen Sonja of Norway has sold more of her own art than ever before but now it’s brought some criticism.

Over the summer, the Galleri Ullinsvin in Vågå municipality, owned by local authorities, has exhibited graphics and ceramics made by Queen Sonja.

It has recently become known that this has been one of Queen Sonja’s most profitable exhibitions and Her Majesty has never sold so much art during the same exhibition. The profit from the sale goes to Queen Sonja’s Artist Scholarship.

Among the biggest buyers was Vågå municipality itself. According to the local newspaper GD, the municipality has secured four works of art by Queen Sonja worth around NOK 500,000 or 50,000 US dollars.

Several of the municipality’s politicians are now calling the mayor in for an explanation after many politicians first found out about the art purchase via the local newspaper. Neither the deputy mayor, the chairman nor members of the municipal council were informed in advance of the purchase according to reports.

During the opening ceremony, the mayor reserved four artworks, which were to be assessed later. According to Norwegian law, mayors are not allowed to make such contributions, this must be done by municipal directors. The municipal director tells Norwegian press that a careful assessment of the purchase has been made, and that he saw it as a unique opportunity for Vågå municipality to secure important artworks for the municipality.

The purchased art from the Queen is to be put up in the local nursing home, but first the mayor must explain his role in the art purchase.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.