Finding a home for Israeli’s embassy in Sweden
In a diplomatic gesture of epic proportions, Sweden has offered to the Jewish state a prestigious mansion, formerly the residence of Alfred Nobel among other things, to use as its embassy.
Israel had no initial luck finding a new place for its embassy because of its heavy security requirements including restricting the roads around the building, erecting a wall around it, placing cameras and bodyguards throughout the premises and dealing with demonstrations.
The mansion, which was built in 1830, has served as a museum, a guardhouse for the royal forest, the house of Alfred Nobel and the inherited house of the Swedish crown prince. Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, arms manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite. He left his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.
The State of Israel will pay a relatively low rent to Sweden and will remain in the mansion for an unlimited time. The Israeli embassy in Sweden has been at its present location for 50 years, until the landlord recently decided to end the contract and clear out the Israeli embassy.
The mansion into which Israel will be moving its offices is situated in an exclusive area of central Stockholm, adjacent to the house of the American ambassador, amid several foreign embassies and next to a giant park named after Nobel.
The 750-square-meter structure will undergo basic renovations. A wall will be built around the building in order to accommodate Israel’s security needs.