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Ibsen's apartment opened to the public

Precisely one hundred years after Henrik Ibsen passed away quietly in his apartment at Arbins gate 1 in Oslo, the playwright's last home is opened in its original state to the public. Concurrently, the book "Things about Ibsen" is launched and the exhibit "Henrik Ibsen: On the contrary!" opens, providing an exploration of Ibsen's literary challenge to the status quo.

24/05/2006 :: 23 May 1906 at 2.30 p.m.: Norway's greatest author, Henrik Ibsen, dies at 78-years-old. His apartment at Arbins gate 1 in the central quarters of Oslo continues to be his wife Suzannah Ibsen's home until she passes away in 1914. Afterwards, the home disintegrates. Some rooms are moved to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, belongings are shared among relatives, and the apartment itself is modernised and  rebuilt into office space.

It has been a long process to recreate the private sphere of one the world's most famous dramatist, and a hundred years after his death the public can finally get a complete look at how Henrik Ibsen lived and worked during his last years. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is behind the reconstruction and Ibsen's office where he wrote his two last plays is the focal point of the apartment. However, the public can also view other rooms including the library, dining room and bedroom.  All the central pieces of furniture are Ibsen's own, and the reconstruction of floors, walls, ceiling and surfaces are based on archaeological examinations of the building supplemented by other historical sources.

The major street adjacent to Arbins gate has recently been renamed to Henrik Ibsens gate, or Henrik Ibsen's street. Also, events around the world are dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of Ibsen's death. 

Concurrently with the doors reopening at The Ibsen Museum, two other sources of information about Ibsen will see the light of day:

"Henrik Ibsen: On the contrary!" exhibit
Right before Ibsen died he supposedly sat up in his bed exclaiming: "On the contrary!". These last remarks follow Ibsen's philosophy of life, always challenging the status quo and remaining sceptical towards the majority opinion. The exhibit ties together the different aspects of his life, the poetry and the era he lived in, but also focuses on how important Ibsen's dilemmas still are in contemporary society.

The exhibit will be on display at The Ibsen Museum, Arbins gate 1, Oslo.

"Things about Ibsen", book launch
The book "Things about Ibsen" comprises 20-25 essays where objects tied to Ibsen's life and work are explored in light of Ibsen's biography and in a broad cultural historical setting. The book is published in Norwegian and English, and the authors represent several professional fields.

Source: The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

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Ibsen's apartment has been restored to its original state. This picture is taken from the blue living room. Photo: Pierre de Brisis

It's been a long process, but most of Ibsen's belongings are now back at The Ibsen Museum. Photo: Pierre de Brisis

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) lived at Arbins gate 1 during the last 11 years of his life.Photo: Pierre de Brisis