Colorful outdoor sculptures titled ”The Paradise”

Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, The Paradise | Le Paradis fantastique, 1966. Photo: Åsa Lundén / Moderna Museet © Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely / Bildupphovsrätt 2019

Why is artistic freedom important to society?

Panel discussion with Gitte Ørskou, director of Moderna Museet

10.11 2019


Why is it important to have contemporary art in our public spaces? Art and cultural freedom are a tenet of democracy, and yet, attacks on art and artists have increased in recent years. Join us for a panel discussion with Moderna Museet’s director, Gitte Ørskou, Sofia de la Fuente, artist, Olof Lavesson, a former cultural policy-maker, and Elena Namli, professor of theological ethics.

Video of the conversation

How should civil servants and policy-makers relate to the liberal arts?

Recently, there have been several incidents in Sweden where art has been restrained by conditions and the so-called arm’s-length principle put aside. What does it mean to be unbiased and factual? What happens if we start to compromise the principle that art should always be free? In Europe and the rest of the world, art has been kidnapped by political interests. How can we support our country’s artists and cultural workers in this new political landscape?



Sara Edström, chairperson of Konstnärernas riksorganisation


Gitte Ørskou, director, Moderna Museet

Sofia de la Fuente, artist, Sölvesborg

Olof Lavesson, former chairperson of the parliamentary arts committee and cultural policy and LGBTQ spokesperson for Nya moderaterna. He now works for his own company.

Elena Namli, professor of theological ethics, Uppsala University


Zandra Thuvesson, policy officer, Konstnärernas riksorganisation

John Peter Nilsson, communicative museums strategist, Moderna Museet

Contact: Catrin Lundquist, curator, John Peter Nilsson, communicative museum strategist