Fire Destroys Danish Museum, Collection Saved

April 30, 2013

A fire blazed through The Museum of Danish Resistance in Copenhagen on Sunday, destroying large parts of the building but most of the collection was saved, museum officials said.

No one was injured in the fire and firefighters and staff who rushed to the scene in central Copenhagen managed to save the majority of display items, museum spokesman Henrik Schilling said.

The fire started in the museum cafe around 2 a.m. and quickly spread to the exhibition hall. The last pockets of fire were being extinguished shortly after noon, Schilling said.

The museum is an affiliate of the Danish National Museum and exhibits objects related to the Danish resistance to the German occupation during World War II. The wooden building, located close to the waterfront, was built specifically for its purpose in the 1950s, Schilling said.

Nazi Germany’s occupation of Denmark started on April 9, 1940, and continued until the Germans surrendered to the Allies on May 5, 1945. The Danish resistance movement distributed illegal flyers and upheld secret radio communication with the British. The resistance grew stronger toward the end of the war, when acts of violent sabotage against factories and railways increased.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Schilling said it is still unclear if the building can be restored or needs to be rebuilt entirely.

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