In the late 1950s and the early 1970s the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso designed five murals (The Beach, The Seagull, Satyr and Faun and two versions of The Fisherman) for the Regjeringskvartalet ('Government quarter') buildings in central Oslo, Norway.
The designs by Picasso were executed in concrete by Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar, and were Picasso's first attempt at monumental concrete murals
The modernist building, the Y-block, which formed part of the Norwegian government quarter for over fifty years.
The building was drawn by architect Erling Viksjø and was finished 1969. Following the 2011 terror attack the building was left empty while the government have been mulling its' options.
A decision on the fate of the murals was expected in early 2014. The murals were subsequently listed as one of Europe's most endangered heritage sites in 2015 by the heritage organisation Europa Nostra following the Norwegian cabinet's vote to demolish the Y-block building.
In the beginning of 2020 the Norwegian government decided to tear down the building and redevelop the goverment quarter.
The Architect's Newspaper writes:
"Demolition-ready government officials have vowed to save and relocate the murals, which were executed by Picasso’s frequent collaborator, the Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar. Preservationists near and far, however, are crying foul. They believe that the building itself should also be spared from the wrecking ball."
©Fredrik Naumann/Felix Features