Ásmundarsalur is a small art museum often overlooked by visitors to Reykjavik even though it’s literally in the shadow of the Hallgrimskirkja the city’s number one tourist attraction. The building was purpose-built as an art gallery in 1933 by sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson. The artist’s heirs sold the museum to the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, which has operated the museum for nearly forty years. But now the ASI wants to offload the entire building (minus the art collection) for just 80 million ISK ( about $650,000).
Unfortunately, since the museum was built in 1933 it’s not covered by historic preservation laws, so the new owner can do whatever they like with the building. The gallery is probably to small to be converted into a hotel, although you could fill it with bunks and turn it into a hostel on the cheap. Or, with the Airbnb boom in Reykjavik, it could be subdivided into 5 or 6 apartments and rented weekly. It’s more likely that the museum would just be a knockdown and the site used for a home.
Local residents in the Reykjavik 101 district have already signed a petition in the hundreds to try and convince the municipal and national governments to buy the building to insure that it remains an art space for Icelandic creatives.
Still, I’d love to buy it and have this view out of my window. Maybe we could get 100 travel bloggers to chip in and turn it into a time share?