Tal vid invigningen av Rodin-utställningen på Konstakademien (29 september 2015)
Utdrag ur talet som hölls vid tillfället.
"It is a great honor to be here tonight.
You have had the kindness to invite me to open this exhibition because Auguste Rodin is a French sculptor. But while we are proud to claim him as our own, there is no doubt that his work belongs to all of humanity.
Mind you, it has not always been the case. We all know Rodin´s relationships with the French art world were quite difficult at the beginning of his career. But I also remember an anecdote I heard that, when participating in the Stockholm World Fair in 1897, Rodin offered to give one of his works to the organizers… and they declined.
Fortunately, it did not prevent an exceptional and fruitful exchange between Rodin and so many Nordic artists. This shows in the rich correspondence kept in the archive of the Musée Rodin in Paris, which collaborated closely with the National Museum for this exhibition. These fascinating letters show the dialogue he had with artists and the art audience all over the world. Indeed, Rodin´s works have been largely acquired by passionate collectors and institutions in Stockholm: just an example, the large scale ‘Penseur’ in the exhibition comes from the Prince Eugene’s museum, just a short drive from where we stand. More generally, many works come from private collections around the Nordic countries.
For an Ambassador, whose work is dedicated to fostering the relationship between our two countries, such an exhibition is truly inspiring and I am very grateful to the people and institutions that have worked on its production.
I would like to congratulate first the team of the National Museum and specifically its director, Mr Bernd Arell and the curator Mme Linda Hinners. And to deeply thank the Musée Rodin and the Ateneum museum in Helsinki, which coproduced this project.
I also welcome Mme Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, former senior curator of the Rodin Museum, who played a key role in the exhibition itself. C’est un plaisir de vous accueillir ici Madame, merci de votre travail et de votre soutien à ce très beau projet.
Finally, the Institut Français de Stockholm is looking forward to collaborating further with the exhibition and with the pedagogical department of the National Museum. Together, they will organise a screening of the film "Camille Claudel" and a lecture entitled: "digital Sculpture, new forms for a classical art form" – connecting Rodin’s works to how video game characters are sculpted digitally today. This truly shows how Rodin’s art still has a strong impact in a broad variety of sectors.
I believe it is now time for all of us to engage with the masterpieces and I am proud to declare the exhibition "Rodin" open."