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Arts Academy to Move Downtown?

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Arts Academy to Move Downtown?

Landsbankinn

The Landsbanki building on Austurstræti. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A solution to the housing problems of the Iceland Academy of the Arts may be the building that now houses Landsbanki in downtown Reykjavík. The Academy is currently housed in four different buildings throughout Reykjavík, but the possibility was recently suggested that it move instead into the building on the corner of Austurstræti and Pósthússtræti, right in the heart of the city.

President of the Academy Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir told RÚV that the lack of facilities costs the Academy between ISK 50 and 100 million a year (USD 384,000-767,000, EUR 353,000-705,000). According to her, Landsbanki and its director have welcomed the suggestion, as has Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson. The ministers of education and finance have been interested in the subject, but have not yet voiced their opinion.

On his Facebook page today, the mayor posts, “The idea to have the Iceland Academy of the Arts move in [to the Landsbanki building] is terrific, because such a facility would bring vitality to the city streets.”

Fríða believes it would facilitate a closer connection with the city environment if the Academy moved downtown. She remarked, “Aside from making the city livelier, I think it would be refreshing to have the Academy in this building, just a stone’s throw away from Alþingi [the Icelandic parliament] and Austurvöllur square. It would create a healthy balance in the city.”

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