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Swedish museums start opening up for free

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The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
09:50 CET+01:00
Many of Sweden's most popular state-owned museums are now free to visit after a change in the law.
The museums letting tourists and locals in without charge include the modern art Moderna museet venues in Stockholm and Malmö, the Naturhistoriska riksmuseet (Swedish Museum of Natural History) and the Världskulturmuseet i Göteborg (Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg).
 
The move will be funded by Swedish taxpayers and was first mooted as part of the government's autumn budget, as The Local reported in September. It came into action on February 1st.
 
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat party also introduced a similar scheme when it last was in power 10 years ago, but fees were reintroduced by the centre-right Alliance government in 2006.
 
Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke told Swedish broadcaster SVT last year that she hoped the move would encourage people from a more diverse range of backgrounds to attend exhibitions.
 
"We need to open up and show our shared treasures to reach groups other than those who usually go to museums," she said.
 
However Sweden's most popular tourist attraction, the Vasa museum, which contains an iconic warship, is set to keep its fee of 130 kronor for adults (just under $16).
 
The museum's director Magnus Olafsson has said that he is not concerned that visitors might be drawn away from the Stockholm landmark due to the now costless attractions nearby.
 
"We know from the last time [state-run museums were free] that we will not lose any visitors. Actually, the number of visitors rose during that period, so I am not at all concerned," he said in September.
 
The Abba Museum will also retain its price of 196 kronor for adults, plus a 20 kronor service fee for tickets booked at the venue rather than online.

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Sweden's largest open-air museum, Skansen, will continue to charge too, with varied costs throughout the year.
 
The full list of museums that are now free 

Armémuseum (Army museum)

Etnografiska museet (Museum of Ethnography)

Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum)

Historiska museet (History Museum)

Kungl. myntkabinettet (Royal Coin Cabinet)

Livrustkammaren (Royal Armoury)

Marinmuseum (Naval Museum)

Medelhavsmuseet (Mediterranean Museum)

Moderna museet (Modern Museum)

Nationalmuseum (National Museum)

Naturhistoriska riksmuseet (Swedish Museum of Natural History)

Sjöhistoriska museet (Maritime Museum)

Skoklosters slott (Skokloster Castle)

Statens centrum för arkitektur och design (Architecture and Design Museum)

Världskulturmuseet (Museum of World Culture)

Östasiatiska museet (Museum of East Asia)

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