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Tip: Steal away to Thieves Island

(Shutterstock / Jacek_Kadaj)

Once red-light, Thieves Island is now red hot. Urban renewal has turned the notorious site where thieves were hanged and prostitutes roamed into the city’s most hip and happening neighborhood, a 15-minute walk from downtown. The bridge-connected islet, framed by the Tjuvholmen canals and Oslo Fiord, is home to the Renzo Piano-designed Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (pictured above) and Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park, both exhibiting challenging, cutting-edge works. Flanking them are The Sneak Peak, a nearly 300-foot glass lookout tower that’s open to the public (about $3.50), tony art galleries and shops, good restaurants, and The Thief, a chic and artsy boutique hotel that pays the world’s highest insurance for a hotel art collection. It draws jet-setters from rock stars to royalty, but anyone is welcome to tour the public spaces and admire the works loaned from the Astrup Fearnley or owner Peter Stordalen’s private collection. Or dine in the hotel’s Fru K restaurant in view of Andy Warhol’s “Ladies and Gentlemen.” www.tjuvholmen.no/english/

HILARY NANGLE