HCA NEWS Danish Minister of Culture inaugurates HCA Museum

On Thursday 11 November, the Copenhagen department store, Magasin, inaugurated an Andersen museum in the garret room once inhabited by the Danish storyteller. The Museum also features an adjacent Andersen exhibition co-organised by the Magasin department store and Odense City Museums in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. The garret, which will open to the public on 15 November, is located at Vingårdstræde No. 6 with public access through the department store.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 12 November 2004

On Thursday 11 November, Danish Minister of Culture Brian Mikkelsen announced the inauguration of the Hans Christian Andersen exhibition at Vingårdstræde at a special press conference, which was also attended by the Major of Odense and Chairman of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Anker Boye.

Danish Minister of Culture Brian Mikkelsen states:
"The collaboration between Magasin, the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation and the Odense City Museums is quite simply a prime example of how businesses and culture can join hands to mutual benefit, as is the case. I call it an accomplished creative alliance. The result of their endeavour will draw interest both at home and abroad."

General Manager of Magasin in Copenhagen, Gitte Nielsen, states:
"Magasin by Kongens Nytorv has famously served Copenhageners for generations. It is a house that not only shows the latest fashion but which also represents storytelling, and we are proud that Hans Christian Andersen has lived in a room in our building, which is why we have allocated resources to show townspeople and tourists alike what Copenhagen meant to Hans Christian Andersen and vice versa. This is why we have pooled our efforts with Odense City Museums and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation to tell the world of today about the life of the great storyteller."

Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, states:
"With the opening to the public of Andersen's old room at Vingårdstræde, Hans Christian Andersen will have a ?home? in Copenhagen just as he has one in Odense; a house where he was reputedly born, almost 200 years ago. The new Andersen room has the unique aura of a place where Hans Christian Andersen once lived during a formative stage of his life. I am sure that many Danes and tourists alike will make their way up the stairs to Andersen's old lodge to learn more about Andersen. The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has with pleasure sponsored the establishing of the exhibition organised by the Odense City Museums."

Deputy Director of Odense City Museems, Claus Koch, states:
"With Hans Christian Andersen's little garret room at Vingårdstræde in Copenhagen, Odense City Museums opens its first subsidiary outside Funen. We are pleased to engage in collaboration between business and culture, and along with Magasin ensure public access to one of the many gems Denmark has to offer when travelling in the footsteps of the fairytale storyteller. At the garret museum, Odense City Museums relates the story of Andersen's life in Copenhagen in a unique setting reflecting the 1820s when Andersen walked the streets of the city, mingled with society and yet dwelled in a humble garret."

Hans Christian Andersen has lived several places in Copenhagen, but the third-floor garret at Vingårdstræde No. 6 is the only place that authentically reflects the time when Andersen lived here as if he had just stepped out of the room. It has since been inhabited by others, and has housed a sewing shop, but Andersen's home fixtures, such as an alcove bed, a cupboard and table, have now been reconstructed in replica.

Hans Christian Andersen was 22 years of age when he moved into the garret on 18 April 1827 and lived there for a year until 1828. His poem, The Student, which was published in 1829, reflects his thoughts while living in the garret preparing for his final exams. Further reference to his time at the garret is to be found in later works by Hans Christian Andersen, such as this first vaudeville Love and the Nicolai Tower (1836), Picture Book without Pictures (1839-44) and the fairytale The goblin and the Huckster (1853).

Magasin and Odense City Museums have converted the garret into a museum with the sponsorship of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. Here you can see Andersen's old room and an adjacent exhibition area. Admission is free. The exhibition relates the story of Hans Christian Andersen's life while living at Vingårdstræde as well as taking a wider look at his life. The exhibition features a film about the storyteller, and you can read his stories and seek information on the building itself, which is an exciting story in itself.

The exhibition also features a number of images, portraits and illustrations that help tell the story of the time when Hans Christian Andersen lived in the garret, such as the original newspaper advertisement of 10 April 1827 offering the tenancy to which Andersen responded. But manuscripts and paper cuts from Andersen's hand are also on display as well as a bed screen which Hans Christian Andersen decorated with a number of images of historical and contemporary people arranged around a postcard of the then new Royal Danish Theatre building.

Other Andersen bicentenary projects by the Odense City Museums:
Apart from being responsible for the Hans Christian Andersen exhibition at Vingårdstræde and the Hans Christian Andersen House in Odense, the Odense City Museums has also created an international touring exhibition on the life of Hans Christian Andersen featured in 12 languages and set to tour 29 nations worldwide in celebration of the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary in 2005. Furthermore, the Odense City Museums has developed an introductory film about the life and work of the fairytale storyteller to be screened as part of the international exhibition and at other Andersen events both nationally and internationally.

In 2005, the Odense City Museums in association with the Danish Tourist Board will develop a number of initiatives ensuring that the urban heritage preservation area of Andersen's hometown Odense, called The Funen Village, is to be given clear reference to the great storyteller. Among the initiatives is the opening of a historic playing ground with hands-on activities, such as replicas of old toys, which render insight into the day and age of Hans Christian Andersen. Theatre and fairytale readings will also be featured in the old village setting.

Deputy Director of Odense City Museums, Claus Koch, states:
"The international touring exhibition entitled Hans Christian Andersen 2005 as well as the projects Hans Christian Andersen's House and A Village in Andersen's Day all originate in Odense. We are convinced that these projects will appeal to people of all ages, creed and religion. Hans Christian Andersen symbolises an international aspect of museum activity in Denmark, and we hope that the exhibition will help ensure that Hans Christian Andersen is secured a place within world cultural heritage."

The abovementioned projects have been realised with funding by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Opening to the public of the Hans Christian Andersen Museum at Vingårdstræde
Date: 15 November 2004
Opening Hours: Department store opening hours
Location: Entrance via Magasin, third floor.
Free admission

Facts about Magasin
136 years ago, Emil Vett and Theodor Wessel, who shared the dream of becoming storeowners, founded the first Magasin department store in Vestergade in the town of Aarhus. The store sold fabric by the yard, clothes, tablecloths, bedclothes and knitting yarn. The store soon became so popular that the two owners expanded by moving to larger premises at Immervad where the Aarhus branch of Magasin is still to be found. Their next target was the capital, Copenhagen, where in 1870 they rented a shop on the ground floor of Hotel du Nord at the Kongens Nytorv Square.

Gradually Wessel & Vett took over more and more space from the hotel, and in 1879 the entire complex was renamed Magasin du Nord, referring to the name of the hotel. Magasin became known as the place that was first with new ideas and trends. The window displays facing Kongens Nytorv were always an open door to the latest fashion. Today, Magasin consists of eight department stores: Kongens Nytorv, Lyngby, City 2, Rødovre, Odense, Kolding, Aalborg and Aarhus.

Facts on Odense City Museums
Odense City Museums specialises within four areas: archaeology, history, and art history and the two famous Danish artists Hans Christian Andersen and Carl Nielsen. The museum comprises eight institutions where exhibitions and events are held and where publications are distributed: The Hans Christian Andersen House, Hans Christian Andersen's Childhood Home, the Funen Village, the Funen Art Museum, the Carl Nielsen Museum, Carl Nielsen's Childhood Home, the City Museum Møntergården ? and now also the Hans Christian Andersen Museum at Vingårdstræde in Copenhagen.

The Odense City Museums aim at preserving, conducting research into and communicating the history of the island of Funen, Danish cultural history, Hans Christian Andersen, and Carl Nielsen, with a national and international perspective.

It is the vision of Odense City Museums: "to allow the historical dimension to be perceived as part of the foundation of society through the understanding that the past and the present form the basis of future development, and to encourage visitors and users to seek further knowledge, and to democratise access to knowledge and collections."

Facts about the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation
The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation is to promote the wider awareness and appreciation of the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen in connection with the bicentenary of the birth of the storyteller and poet in 2005.

This is to take place through a large number of projects within film and TV, literature, theatre, opera, dance, multimedia, rhythmic and classical music, entertainment, visual art, museum exhibitions as well as education and tourism. The stated aim is that as many as possible, nationally and internationally, children as well as adults, are to gain facetted insight into the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen. In 2005, Andersen will be celebrated with major projects of international penetration as well as smaller and more local events worldwide.

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has been established by the Kingdom of Denmark represented by the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, the Municipality of Odense, the County of Funen and the Bikuben Foundation. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is patron of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.