Report from the Board 14 January 2016

Board members present: Marco Helles (Chairman), Karin Petterson, Stephen James, Johan Sahlén, Göran Johansson, Kristina Gustafsson, Lina Mattebo, Patrick Amofah, Peter Dobers and Vida Attah.
Ex officio: Anette Engkvist, Cathrin Sjöström and Claes-Göran Ydrefors.

The Board convened an extra meeting as a result of reactions to its decision to take down Sigfrid Södergren’s mural in the café.

It has been pointed out to the Board that in 2011 the City Museum of Stockholm assessed Immanuel church to be a building of high cultural-historical value. However in the classification of their decision, Sigfrid Södergren’s mural is not specifically mentioned, and according Probitas, the owner of the property, the wall with the mural is not under any preservation order.

In addition to this, some members of Immanuel church have contacted the City Museum for an opinion on the decision to take down the mural. Antiquarian Klara Johansson states: “The museum’s advice is to keep Södergren’s mural visible on the wall. If, on the other hand, the mural is to be covered up, it is important that it is not damaged, and that it would be possible to reveal it in the future, when desirable.”

There is therefore nothing in these documents which would prevent the mural from being taken down. This week the Board has however asked Conservator Anna Brandi, who has worked at Riksantikvarieämbetet, and who was recommended by the City Museum, for information about how the mural should be taken down and the best way of looking after it. Anna Brandi will also be present when the mural is taken down.

A few members have requested the Board to allow the congregation to decide about the mural at a congregational meeting. However, this request has neither been put forward at any congregational meeting, nor at the Annual meeting in 2015, when the Board communicated its decision to take down the mural. The Board decided not to take up the matter with the congregation for reassessment.

The Board stands by its decision to take down the mural. As soon as possible it will therefore be covered by a curtain while awaiting the start of the renovation of the church square, in accordance with the Board’s earlier decision. When the rebuilding begins the mural will be taken down and be preserved safely and correctly, according to the instructions given by the conservator.

With kind regards / The Board