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HARPA Concert and Conference Hall in Reykjavík 0

On 13 May was opening of one of Iceland's most talked-about projects of recent years - the HARPA ('harp') Concert and Conference Hall - it has opened its doors in Reykjavík with a grand opening concert as part of an annual art festival. The new building was designed by the Danish firm of Henning Larsen Architects and the local Batteríið Architects studio. The actual highlight of the building, however, seems to be its glass south façade created by one of today's brightest stars of contemporary art, the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson - a poetic eccentric and mystic who, with the help of colour, light, mirrors and natural elements (water and stones), conjures up magical environments which transport their visitors to another world, one that walks the thin line between mystification and reality with the virtuoso skill of a ropedancer while creating an impression of something genuine down to the smallest sensual detail and infinitely beautiful at the same time. Both of Eliasson's parents are Icelandic, and art critics love to promote the legend of Iceland's landscapes and atmosphere, so close to the artist's heart, being the real source of the world he creates.