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World-famous sculptor Jaume Plensa’s “House of Knowledge” will be the next sculptural masterpiece ­in the city of Borås. Sparbanksstiftelsen (“the savings bank foundation”) and two private individuals are behind the donation, which is record-breaking for Sweden.

“Incredible! I have been captivated by Plensa’s intriguing sculptures – but I didn’t ever dare to believe we would be able to bring such a significant piece to Borås,” says City of Borås Head of Culture Eva-Lotta Franzén. Catalan artist Jaume Plensa is a world-famous name in sculptural art and has installed, among other pieces, the marble sculpture Laura in New York, the video sculpture Crown Fountain in Chicago and the piece Awilda in Salzburg.

“House of Knowledge” is an eight-meter-tall sculpture built out of meandering letters. The price tag is SEK 15 million and the piece is the largest donation ever in Sweden of an individual sculpture. It will be located near the entrance of the Textile Fashion Center in Borås, new home of the Swedish School of Textiles and the Textile Museum of Sweden. Its inauguration is planned for May 22, the day before the opening of the year’s Sculpture­Biennial and the inauguration of the entire centre. “It will be a fine combination with Sean Henry’s Catafalque, which is nearby. Both pieces offer a secure sense of harmony that is well-suited to the surroundings,” concludes art museum director Pontus Hammarén.

Plensa’s large piece was donated by the Sparbanksstiftelsen Sjuhärad foundation, together with entrepren­eurs Paul Frankenius and Joakim Hedin.

“Sparbanksstiftelsen wants to be part of the city and university’s future investments in Simonsland and is crowning this major investment with a valuable artistic adornment,” says chairperson of Sparbanksstiftelsen Bertil Sparf.

“And we very much want to contribute to the advancement of Borås’ position as a city for art and sculpture. With the addition of Plensa’s masterpiece, Borås has Sweden’s leading contemporary sculpture collection,” assert Paul Frankenius and Joakim Hedin.

In just five or six years, Borås has been enriched with around 10 new public artworks; to date, Pinocchio has been the best known.
“Borås has really benefited when it comes to art donors: enthusiasts who give Borås residents these lovely artistic experiences,” points out Eva-Lotta Franzén.

The savings bank foundation passed the donation through on Wednesday. Tonight, the Culture Committee will decide to propose to the municipal council to gratefully accept the donation.

“We are thrilled about this fascinating piece of art, which will strengthen both the position of Borås and the vibrancy of the Textile Fashion Center,” says chairperson of the municipal board Ulf Olsson (S).

More information:
Eva-Lotta Franzén, +46 (0)734-15 33 06, Pontus Hammarén, +46 (0)768-88 76 81, Bertil Sparf +46 (0)705-93 03 39, Paul Frankenius, +46 (0)702-70 80 90, Joakim Hedin, +46 (0)705-21 53 00, och Ulf Olsson, +46 (0)705-23 30 22.