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Reopened museum looks to the future

The Historical Museum at Lund University reopened during the first weekend of December after almost one year of renovation and rebuilding.
The new glass entrance to the Historical Museum
The Historical Museum has a new prominent glass entrance.
“It feels great to be able to welcome new and previous visitors to the museum at last. We hope that they will make new discoveries about the past and find new approaches to our collections, while it will be easier to find your way here and around the museum”, says Sofia Cinthio, assistant director of the Historical Museum. The new exhibition “Sösdala: The Horsemen” displays the famous Sösdala find – Europe’s most important find of horse rider’s equipment in gilded silver and bronze from the Migration Period of the Iron Age.

Oldfashioned salute battery in Lundagård
The Historical Museum had a thunderous reinauguration when Wende’s salute battery fired a Swedish double salvo. Photo:Kennet Ruona
Visitors passing through the new entrance will see a display about the doctor, collector, scientist and University vice-chancellor Kilian Stobaeus as well as images tracing the museum’s own history.During the past year, the museum has gained a completely new reception floor with the help of funding from Sparbanken Skåne. There is also a new glass entrance, which more clearly signals what is concealed within the old Bishop’s House built in the 1840s – although no bishop ever resided there. The University and church decided on a reshuffle and the Zoological Museum and departments of Physics and Chemistry moved into the premises on the Kraftstorg square instead.

Then, it was not until 1918 – just a few months before the end of the First World War – that the collections which constituted the Historical Museum were able to move into the building. The process was delayed by blockades and strikes, and, on the Monday after the inauguration, all gatherings were banned due to the infection risk posed by Spanish flu.

The path to this year’s reopening of the museum was not straightforward, either. The plan was to open the museum in late September, exactly 100 years after moving in on Kraftstorg. However, like other construction projects, complications and delays arose and during the final weeks it was often necessary to work late into the evening. Everything was finally ready a couple of hours before the reopening.

“We are tired but happy – and relieved after this hectic period, and above all we are very pleased to receive such a positive reception from our visitors”, says Sofia Cinthio.

“It has been great to see so many curious children getting acquainted with our newly opened educational workshop. After the Epiphany weekend, we will start our children’s activities”, says Sofia Cinthio.Speeches were given at the reinauguration by the chairman of the Historical Museum board, Stig Persson, vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz and Harald Meller, museum director of Archäologisches Landesmuseum in Halle, whose current premises opened just ten days after the Historical Museum opened in Lund. Odeum’s musicians played excerpts from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, which was first performed on the same September weekend that the museum moved in on Kraftstorg. Lena Liepe, professor of art history and visual studies and very conversant with the wood sculptures on the floor of the museum devoted to medieval church art, also gave an acclaimed speech.

Before the trumpet fanfare and four-shot salute to mark the reinauguration, the museum director Per Karsten also held a speech.  

“When you celebrate 100 years, it is important to establish that this is not an ending – it is now that our journey begins! If I look into a crystal ball at the next few years, I see considerable challenges, but also enormous opportunities. We have 11 million artefacts, but only a fraction can be shown here. That is 11 million stories. They need space! I would like to propose that we work towards the building of an annex – an archaeology building that focuses on excavations and interdisciplinarity, featuring the most exciting discoveries from the Ice Age to the present. Where, you may be wondering? Why not just outside here on the dark, uninviting car park, which currently is hardly Lundagård’s most beautiful space or the one most worth preserving. A building here would open up the museum towards Tegnérplatsen, the AF Building and, not least, Kulturen”, concluded Per Karsten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

The Historical Museum

• The Historical Museum at Lund University is southern Sweden’s largest museum of archaeological finds – including Uppåkra finds, as well as coins and church art. The research-based museum is a part of Lund University’s cultural and public centres with origins in the 1700s.

• The renovation, extension and transfiguration of the medieval church art has been made possible thanks to funding from Sparbanken Skåne, the Thora Ohlsson Foundation, the Sodalitum Majus Lundense brotherhood, the Royal Society of the Humanities in Lund and the Gunnar Svensson Foundation Humanities Fund.

• Opening hours are increased to Tuesdays–Sundays 12:00–17:00. The museum is open until 20:00 on Thursdays.

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