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54. Bone of Contention

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Would you believe it, the spot you are looking at was one of the most contentious places in Stockholm the last of couple of years. The Nobel Foundation wanted to build their Nobel Center, intended to host their offices as well as a museum dedicated to the Nobel Prize, on this spot which is right in the centre of Stockholm. This would have require the houses you see in the front to be taken down. (Not the big building behind them, that is the National Museum.)

The so-called customs house to the right is from 1876 and has some qualities, but it is hardly invaluable. The boat sheds to the left even less so, and the area between these buildings and the museum property there is – nothing. A shabby empty lot, not even park or a lawn. The new building was intended to be in a modern design from a renowned architect. It would definitely have become a new landmark.

But Stockholm is a strange place. Here these ugly places are held as sacred and there were major protests from some loudmouths. Eventually, partially as a result of the elections this year, the project was scrapped.