The Outpost of Democracy: Denmark’s new cold war museum is open
Friday, February 10th, Denmark’s new Cold War Museum REGAN Vest was inaugurated by the renowned journalist and author, Leif Davidsen. Thus, for the very first time, the public will gain access to the historical, nuclear-proof bunker, REGAN Vest, and to a comprehensive, engaging museum experience with democracy and the Cold War as the focal point.
REGAN Vest is the best-preserved Cold War bunker which was build in complete secrecy during the 1960’s to house the government, civil service, and the royal family. The aim was to preserve Danish democracy as long as possible in the event of World War III, and REGAN Vest was thus the Danish democracy’s last bastion in decades – if the bunker was taken by the enemy, Denmark would fall.
REGAN Vest has been a well-kept state secret in decades through, hidden 60 meters below the surface in Rold Skov (Rold Forest), and was still a secret until just a few years ago. With opening of the museum, visitors will gain access to the bunker, the original keepers’ house, and the new exhibition building – all of which will create a complete story about REGAN Vest, its important democratic function, and the role and lives of the Danish people during the Cold War.
The design of the new exhibition building will draw several references to the unique story about REGAN Vest. The building is inspired by the closed, black archive folders which historically have protected a variety of state secrets, and thus appears as four black boxes, hidden deep inside the forest.
The exhibition building holds a range of practical functions and exhibitions that will become main elements in the dissemination of the Danish people’s role in the Cold War. But most importantly, the exhibition will set the scene for the paramount attraction of the museum – the bunker.
REGAN Vest is one of the largest Danish museum projects in these years, and the expectation is that the museum will attract between 50,000-60,000 visitors annually.
The new museum is developed by AART for Nordjyske Museer, in collaboration with Kumulus, SLA, and Niras.
Read more about the Cold War REGAN Vest here
Photographs from the bunker: Lars Horn / Nordjyske Museer