Europe

Ikea museum opens in Sweden celebrating firm's history

Ikea design process Image copyright IKEA
Image caption The Ikea museum details the design process of creating functional furniture, from selecting materials to imagining styles.

A museum telling the story of Swedish furniture giant Ikea opens today in the town of Almhult, on the site of the company's first store.

On display are many of Ikea's famous designs and products, from meatballs to bookshelves.

The museum is located on the site where founder Ingvar Kamprad opened the first store in 1958.

The global furniture store now operates in 25 countries with €21.5 billion (£17.7 billion) in annual sales.

The Ikea museum will also feature a temporary exhibit that will change throughout the year. The initial theme will focus on life around the kitchen.

Mr Kamprad is renowned for having shown business acumen from an early age, making him one of the richest men in the world.

But Swedish author Elisabeth Asbrink, revealed more controversial details of the founder's past in a book in 2011.

Ms Asbrink said Mr Kamprad actively recruited people to the fascist Sweden's Socialist Union, prompting the security police to set up a file on him when he was 17 - in the same year he founded Ikea.

The Swedish billionaire has said his involvement was youthful "stupidity", and the "greatest mistake" of his life.

Image copyright IKEA
Image caption The first Ikea store in Almhult was the largest in Scandinavia
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad started the company when he was 17
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption The 100th employee joined Ikea in 1959 and visitors can see uniforms from that period
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption Ingvar Kamprad's office is also on display
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption Museum manager Carina Kloek-Malmsten says visitors "come into close contact with the story of Ikea"
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption The museum displays material samples from furniture and various products.
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption An educational programme focuses on entrepreneurship, technology, design, history and society
Image copyright IKEA
Image caption There is also furniture from the 1960s when Ikea began expanding internationally.

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