The museum has been able to maintain a charge of DKK 20 for admission for almost 20 years, but now it is unfortunately necessary to raise the price of a visit to Thorvaldsens Museum – the first dedicated museum in Denmark, built for the country’s best known sculptor. Wednesday, however, will remain a day when there is no charge for admission.
Adults: DKK 40
Children and young people under 18: free of charge
Senior citizens: DKK 30
Annual season ticket: DKK 120
Free admittance to the museum on Wednesdays
Thorvaldsens Museum is renowned for its unique architecture and not least for the original models of many of the sculptures that were executed by the nationally and internationally most famous of Danish artists, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844). In addition, the museum possesses Thorvaldsen’s extensive collections of paintings, drawings, ancient artefacts etc.
The museum opened in 1848 – the year in which the Danish constitution was introduced – as the country’s first dedicated museum building, which placed it at the very centre of the 19th-century emergence of a democratic Denmark. The leader of the Copenhagen City Council said at the opening of the museum on 17 September 1848 that it was hoped that the time was past “when art had to seek its sole patronage in the halls of royalty and also that with the dawn of egalitarian principles there was an awakening sense of the superior blessings with which art and science beautify and ennoble life.” The support given by Copenhagen City Council to the building of Thorvaldsens Museum was the first decision on cultural policy to be taken by the new city administration at a time when absolutism was being dismantled.
And throughout all these years, Thorvaldsens Museum has sought to make its contribution to the very process of ensuring that a visit to the museum could lead to greater insight, a richer life and “a sense of the superior benefits”, as it was put. And the museum must be for all. Precisely by doing this, the museum can contribute to the democratic project – also in our own time, when the concept of fellow citizenship is at the heart of the museum’s work.
However, there has always been a charge for entrance to the museum throughout all these years except for a period from the middle of the 1970s to the 1990s, when entrance was free. Most of all, of course, the museum would like to be able to offer its visitors admittance without charge, but financial circumstances unfortunately do not permit this.