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Norway | Closed since terror attack, government building featuring Picasso mural set to be torn down

OSLO — Walking through Oslo’s government quarter, it’s hard to miss the monumental concrete mural that dominates its central square. The semiabstract depiction of three people on a boat, pulling in a catch under a blazing sun, is on the end of a swooping modernist building known as Y-Block. “The Fishermen” bears the unmistakable lines of the artist who designed it: Pablo Picasso, who created it in 1970, in collaboration with a Norwegian artist, Carl Nesjar. It is one of five murals by the two men in the government complex here.

In the last six years, however, both the building and the mural have been in a grim state of uncertainty. Since July 22, 2011, Y-Block and an adjacent building, known as H-Block, have sat largely empty, their windows boarded up or covered by screens, a ghostly reminder of the car-bomb attack by the right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik that tore through the government quarter, killing eight people and damaging the buildings.


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