There is growing disquiet over plans to auction off Ingmar Bergman’s iconic home on the Baltic island of Fårö.

The sale, which is being handled by Christies and began on May 18, is facing serious opposition in Bergman’s native Sweden. Ingvar Carlsson, the former Swedish Prime Minister, is presiding over an emergency meeting for the Fårö Bergman Center Foundation in Stockholm tomorrow (June 2).

The Foundation would like to preserve the estate as a cultural site and home of Bergman Week, the annual festival in honour of the auteur. It is seeking potential investors or philanthropists who might bid on their behalf for the Bergman holdings on Fårö, which include several houses as well as Bergman’s private cinema. The auction closes on August 20th.

The opposition to the sale of the estate is not the first time there has been concern over Bergman’s estate. There have been accusations that the Swedish government is not doing enough to preserve his legacy.

Several key Bergman associates, among them actress Harriet Andersson, actress Liv Ullmann and actor Erland Josephson, are understood to be signatories of a letter that will appear later this week in leading Swedish daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, voicing their concerns.

The great Swedish director wrote a letter in the 1970s saying that he wished the estate to be turned into an artistic haven, but he appeared to change his mind after the death of his wife Ingrid van Rosen in 1995. He left instructions in his will for his Fårö estate to be sold.

Bergman’s eight remaining children have approved the proposed sale as has the daughter of his son Jan Bergman, who died in 2000.

Wim Wenders and Gunnel Lindblom are guests of honour at this year’s Bergman Week, which is due to take place from June 23 to June 28 on Fårö.