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How Has Oslo Been Transformed Into a Modern Cultural Center?

When it comes to defining the most outstanding city in Scandinavia through the prism of culture, Oslo beats many culturally important cities, including Bergen, Copenhagen, Odense, Roskilde, Stockholm, and Malmö. Nowadays, Oslo is able to compete with such European cities like Paris, Madrid and Rome for the title of the most culturally developing European city. This article gives the readers an understanding of how the Norwegian capital has become a modern cultural center not only in Scandinavia, but in Europe.

Oslo as a Modern Cultural Center: Defining the Basic Conditions

modern cultural center oslo

The Vigeland Park

Prior to thinking about how Oslo managed to become a modern cultural center in Europe, one should keep in mind a thought that there are no cultures or countries without genuine talents. Rather, there are countries that make very poor use of the astonishing human potential. Therefore, a logical conclusion from that must be the following: a modern cultural center can be shaped only by realizing the human potential of attracted and native talents in the best possible way. Otherwise, talented artists will just look for a place where they feel better, have more freedom in creating their masterpieces, and have more opportunities to realize their artistic potential.

Considering that Norway, despite possessing really abundant mineral and land resources, is quite scarce in the human potential, considering that the country’s population barely exceeds 5 million people. This does not mean that, for example, those 5 million people realize their talents worse than (for instance, once again) 20 million people of another country. Rather, it means that regardless whether we want or not, the chances of a genuine genius in art to be born in a 20-million country rather than in a 5-million one. Therefore, it forces such countries with low figures of population to attract artists from abroad and let them feel as if they were at home.

Apart from realizing the human potential really well, any country needs lots of resources for the development of all spheres and fields, and the field of culture is not an exception. Unfortunately, Norway had really tough times throughout its history: almost all the resources were taken by Denmark and Sweden, which had been in a war over Norway for centuries (the oil and gas reserved were found only in the 1960s). Even though the colonizers of Norway were quite progressive (as of that time), being a colony also meant that the language or any other attributes of statehood will be surely suppressed, preventing from the development of the own culture.

Why Oslo Has to Be Considered as an Important Modern Cultural Center

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Oslo Opera House

Indeed, there are a number of the outstanding Norwegians who played an important role in the development of Norway and the entire world. When it comes to artists, Norway is represented by such famous painters like Emanuel Vigeland, Bernt Tunold, Adolph Tidemand, Christian Skredsvig, and a number of others, the works of those are exhibited exactly in the main museums of the country’s capital. When speaking about the Norwegian artists, it would irremissible not to mention Edvard Munch, whereas an entire museum in Oslo is dedicated to his art and life. Important personalities connected with Oslo also include Henrik Ibsen, Ludvig Holberg, Sigurd Ibsen, Dag Solstad, Henrik Wergerland, and Gustav Vigeland.

Norwegian culture

Fram Museum

Oslo is truly a city of museums, and even a week may not be enough for visiting all museums, galleries and exhibitions in the country’s capital. Once again, it is important to note how the Norwegians value their heroes. For example, the Fram Museum contains a vessel of the same name, which was the first to reach both the South and the North Poles. But large deals of the museum’s information and exhibits are dedicated to Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. Fridtjod Nansen is an important personality not only for Norway, but for the entire European continent, and there are many places and monuments in Oslo that are dedicated exactly to him. The Kon-Tiki Museum also contains a vessel and information about the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, telling a story of the brave Norwegian daredevil and adventurer.

But it’s not only talented artists, architects, musicians, and playwrights who create cultural cities of the future. There are two things that are usually required in order to success and reach such a goal. The first is going about a proper concept and strategy of the city development. The second thing is being open to innovations, new ideas, which is never easy. And even though it is difficult to criticize the architecture of Oslo, the Ultramodern Opera House appears to be an important architectural masterpiece that has helped turn this city into a prosperous and modern cultural center.

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