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 Blaafarveværket[1] in Modum, Norway, founded by King Christian VII of Denmark-Norway in the 1770s, became the largest industrial company of the country in the mid-19th century, employing more than 2,000 workers. The works mined and manufactured cobalt blue, and in its heyday covered 80 percent of the world market.

In 1823, the company was acquired by Baron W. C. Benecke of Berlin and Benjamin Wegner of Königsberg. Wegner also took over as director general, a position he held until 1849, and in his time instituted many important social reforms for the workers. The production of pigment at the works ceased in 1857, but mining was kept up until 1893.

Since 1978, Blaafarveværket has hosted an art gallery, which over the years has exhibited the works of many major Norwegian artists, as well as some foreign[2] ones. In 1993, one hundred years after mining ended, the old cobalt mines opened as a tourist attraction, and the entire area now serves as a museum.


  1. ^ Lit., "The Blue-Color Works" in Dano-Norwegian.
  2. ^ In the summer of 2003, the gallery hosted an exhibition of the paintings of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blaafarveværket". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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