Artists Contemporary art Museums Denmark

Eliasson’s room with a rainbow view brings record visitors to Aros

The roof-top installation helped make the museum the second most visited in Denmark

Olafur Eliasson's Your rainbow panorama

A rainbow-coloured installation by Olafur Eliasson on the roof of the Aros museum in Aarhus, Denmark has helped boost its attendance, making it the second most visited museum in Denmark, just behind the well-known Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek. According to new statistics, more than 551,000 visitors came to the Aros last year, compared with 593,000 to the Louisiana. Although it was installed in early 2011, Eliasson’s Your rainbow panorama “clearly helped draw people to the museum”, says the chief curator Marie Nipper.

In 2010, before Eliasson’s piece opened, the Aros museum received 221,744 visitors (the Louisiana Museum had 557,803 that same year, while the Danish national gallery, the Statens Museum for Kunst, had 448,342). The work, which also serves as a platform with a 360-degree view of the city, cost 60m kroner ($10.7m) to construct and was funded by the philanthropic organisation Realdania.

Aros could see a further boost to attendance next year courtesy of Eliasson, when it opens the second section of his three-part roof project—a glass lounge that guides visitors from the main museum building to Your rainbow panorama and houses another site-specific work. This is funded through a 16.4m kroner ($2.9m) donation from the Kobmand Herman Sallings Fond. The third part of the project, a bullet of steel, is still being worked on.

Eliasson’s work is not the only draw for the museum, however. The exhibition “Edvard Munch: Angst/Anxiety” (6 October 2012-17 February 2013), earned a new attendance record for Aros, with around 250,000 visitors.

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