The majority of works from the Copenhagen Stock Exchange have been saved

A few weeks after the fire which ravaged the old Copenhagen stock exchange, the results are becoming clearer. Much of the 17th-century building was destroyed, including its iconic spire, but more than 90% of the cultural objects inside were saved. The Danish government says more than 350 objects and paintings have survived, several of which are heavily damaged and are currently being restored.

“Firefighters, employees and passers-by helped save the works of art” emphasized Jakob Engel-Schmidt, Minister of Culture of Denmark, in an interview with the Associated Press. However, some could not be saved, like the copy of a sculpture of King Christian IV by the Danish neoclassical artist Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) which was too heavy to be lifted. Frescoes that decorated the walls of the rooms were also destroyed.

The rescued objects are now stored in a warehouse at the National Museum of Denmark which is located in Vinge, northwest of Copenhagen.

“Some of the one hundred and seventy paintings are being restored” said Jakob Engel-Schmidt. Many of them suffered damage during the fire, mainly caused by the water projected from fire hoses to smother the blaze. “The first paintings rescued were not damaged at all and there was no real damage from fire, heat or soot” explains Nina Wajnman, painting restorer at the National Museum of Denmark.

“Other paintings are in very good condition and will be loaned to different museums in the coming months so that the public and Danes can enjoy them again” announces Jakob Engel-Shmidt. Starting with the flagship work of the collection: the painting The Copenhagen Stock Exchange painted by the Danish-Norwegian artist Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909) in 1894. The painting is on loan to the Skagen Museum from the 21 next June.

The cause of the fire, which broke out on the morning of April 16 at the roof level, is still under investigation. The government has committed to rebuilding the historic building, which could take at least five years.

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