Exposed and unseen: Management of public immovable art

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Hermeren, Karin; Orrje, Henrik;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 57, Number S1, p.157-164 (2012)


The preservation of twentieth-century public art is an urgent management problem and of expanding interest for conservation. The National Public Art Council in Sweden has initiated a research project, Management of Public Building-Related Art in Public and Private Ownership. The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Swedish National Heritage Board, the Museum of Public Art, and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. The aim of the research project is to analyse and to estimate the expertise and financial resources needed for the long-term management and preservation of twentieth-century public art commissioned for government buildings, county councils, and municipalities. Another purpose of the project is to discover how national, regional, and local heritage conservation authorities cooperate in order to support the owners of public art financially or with conservation guidance. As case studies, carried out during 2011, 24 works of art were chosen. The findings showed an absence of overview, cooperation, and legal safeguard for public art. The result will help to improve future supervision and facilitate access to different kinds of resources, thus furthering the preservation of an important part of Sweden's cultural heritage.