KODE gets help

Bergen’s famous art museums and composer homes nearly bankrupt

KODE- Troldhaugen

Photo: Banja-Frans Mulder/ Wikimedia
Troldhuagen, the Edvard Grieg composer home

Translated by Andy Meyer

KODE Art Museums and composer homes received NOK 12 million in the government’s recent crisis package to compensate for lost ticket revenue.

“This is good news for KODE and for the first time, we have a minister of culture who takes the dire economic situation we’re in seriously and is trying to do something about it,” said director of KODE, Petter Snare.

KODE recently reported that the museum was in immediate danger of going bankrupt, with a revenue loss of over NOK 30 million so far in 2020. The government released a crisis package worth about NOK 200 million for the culture sector, in which cultural enterprises with over 60% public financing are compensated for some of their lost ticket sales. In the package, the government offers compensation for about NOK 12 million of KODE’s NOK 30 million in losses during the coronavirus crisis.

“KODE remains in a very serious economic situation, and this is an important step on the way toward solving the most acute crises. With the energy that Minister Abid Raja is showing, I am optimistic that we’ll also manage to do something about the enormous underfunding of KODE in the national budget this fall. But then we’ll need help from all the good forces in the government and in the parliament,” said Snare.

KODE is the country’s second largest art museum, but it has struggled economically in recent years. The original prognoses suggested that KODE would go bankrupt in October this year, but with the funding package and with crisis measures in place from the municipality of Bergen, the picture looks  a little brighter.

“We are thankful that the government has stepped up to the plate with a crisis solution for KODE. It gives us breathing room, but our fundamental problems aren’t solved. The reason for that is that KODE receives too little funding from the state, just NOK 30 million, versus the National Museum’s NOK 790 million. This imbalance must be corrected in next year’s national budget,” said chair of the board, Marte Mjøs Persen.

This article originally appeared in the June 12, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.