Purpose and history
The Museum of Copenhagen wishes to kindle a desire for knowledge of the city, its past, present and future, by stimulating public curiosity and delight in discussing matters concerning the capital. The Museum aims hereby to present Copenhagen as a modern metropolis with a living, dynamic, relationship to its cultural heritage.
Purpose, assignments and responsibility
The Museum of Copenhagen aims to be a well-known and respected authority on the history of the capital and a relevant and accessible platform for the numerous citizen voices within the capital, e.g. when discussing the present quality of life within the city or the choices that must be made for the future.
Traditionally speaking, The Museum of Copenhagen's collections, knowledge and communication have been focused upon the city's topographic development, i.e. administration and supplies, citizen welfare, health and opportunities to participate in public decision-making. However, documentation of the loners of Copenhagen has always been part of the Museum's collections, i.e. of Søren Kierkegaard, the world's most famous Copenhagener, or of the Pastime Maid and other original street characters.
In principle, the museum covers all periods of the history of Copenhagen and works together with the city authorities in relation to the cultural environment and permanent cultural heritage of the city. The museum also acts as the local archaeological authority with responsibility for archaeological matters in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. Hence, it contributes to the future development of the city, ensuring that development occurs whilst bearing cultural insight and public memories in mind, particularly in relation to locations that are historically important and will continue to mark the city environment by providing the framework for contemporary and future everyday life.
The early years
The initial roots of what was to become the Museum of Copenhagen consisted of works of art, models, interiors and photographs related to the history of Copenhagen that were gathered at the onset of the 20th century and stored in the capital's new City Hall. These collections have been continually expanded upon throughout the 21st century. The Museum of Copenhagen's areas of responsibility and assignments in relation to the city of Copenhagen have also grown in size and depth during this period.
The Museum of Copenhagen was housed in the attic of Copenhagen's City Hall up until the 1950s when it was transferred to the former premises of the Royal Shooting Society on Vesterbro.
New museum on its way
In 2020 the museum moves to its new location in Stormgade 18. Here the museum wishes to:
- Be a natural gathering point for locals and a forum for dialogue about the city’s past, present and future
- Raise curiosity and thoughtfulness about the metropolis as phenomena
- Offer a variety of exhibitions and events based on innovative research
- Secure lifelong learning through training and co-creation
- Communicate in the city spaces to make sure that all citizens know about and take ownership to the cultural inheritance of the city
- Be the natural starting point for anyone seeking knowledge about the city’s people, culture and history
- Create an attractive front yard thet connects the museum with the rest of the city and makes it an active part of the new Cultural District
- Double the annual number of visitors in 2020.
Conditions of ownership and subsidy
The Museum of Copenhagen is owned and run by Copenhagen's City Council. The museum's board of management consists of the City Council's Culture and Leisure Committee. The Mayor of Culture and Leisure is the chairman of the board.
At present (2014-2017) the museum board consists of the following:
Borgmester Carl Christian Ebbesen (O) (chairman)
Simon Strange (A)
Yildiz Akdogan (A)
Rune Dybvad (A)
Rikke Lauritsen (Ø)
Allan Ahmad (Ø)
Andreas Pourkamali (B)
Michael Gatten (V)
Jens Kristian Lütken (V)
Peter Thiele (F)
Lillian Parker Kaule (I)
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While Copenhagen City Council is the museum's main subsidy provider, it also receives state-subsidy from The Heritage Agency of Denmark on an annual basis.