Stolen Viking treasures returned

Two-thirds of the artifacts stolen from a Bergen museum in August have now been recovered

A bag full of returned Viking treasures.

Photo: Universitetsmuseet i Bergen
The bulk of the stolen Viking loot was found in bags like this tote from IKEA. Sadly, many of the pieces have been damaged by their poor handling.

The Local

A fourth man has now been arrested in connection with the theft of 400 Viking treasures from the University Museum of Bergen, which is now returning the objects to their displays.

The man, who is in his 50s, is suspected of handling stolen goods, police attorney Linn Revheim told broadcaster NRK. He was not present during the break-in at the museum, she said.

“Police found objects at his home,” Revheim told NRK, adding that the statements made by two other suspects led to the fourth arrest.

He has been remanded in custody for four weeks, including two in isolation, reports the broadcaster. Two arrests were made in connection with the case earlier that week.
University Museum of Bergen institute leader Asbjørn Engevik told NRK that staff “never gave up hope” of seeing the valuable Viking artifacts returned.

Two-thirds of the objects are now reported to have been recovered.

The museum is currently working on returning the objects to their previous places while also assessing any damage they may have sustained. “It is too early to say how large the damage is, but much can be repaired. The things that are most damaged are the biggest challenge, especially where parts have been broken off,” Engevik said.

Police are assessing whether potential charges against the suspects could include damaging culturally or historically valuable objects. “We will assess this if and when the charges are brought, in which case potential sentencing would be made stronger,” Revheim told NRK.

The police operation to make the arrest was initiated in October, when a man turned himself in at Bergen Police Station and claimed to have taken part in the robbery, according to the broadcaster’s report. Police interrogation of the man led to the further arrests in the case.

The man who confessed to police is also under the care of the health service, reports NRK.

The broadcaster also writes that it has received information connecting the two men arrested earlier this week to a drug-connected group in Bergen.

Some 400 Viking objects were stolen from the museum at some time over the weekend of August 11-13.

The items, most of them small metal objects like jewelry, “do not have monetary value attached to them” and the value of the metal itself “is also quite small,” the director of the University Museum of Bergen in southwestern Norway, Henrik von Achen, told AFP.

“Yet the great and immeasurable loss is connected to the cultural history value of the items, which exceeds the monetary value many times over,” he added.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the Nov. 17, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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