The Viking ships will probably stay at Bygdøy

The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy. Photo © Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo / Eirik Irgens Johnsen

The plans to move Norway’s Viking ships to a new museum on Oslo’s eastern waterfront will probably not be approved, reports Norwegian media.

The idea has been to combine the current Viking Ship Museum with an expanded Museum of Cultural History. But a new report advises against the move, to preserve both the ships and public funds.

The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy displays the Oseberg shipGokstad ship and Tune ship alongside sledges, beds, a (horse) cart, wood carving, tent components, buckets and other grave goods.

In December 2006 the University of Oslo (UiO) supported a proposal by the Historical museum to move the ships and all the grave goods to a proposed new museum in Bjørvika, Oslo.

There has been much debate about this suggestion, both in the museum and archaeological milieu as well as in the media. Opponents to the move have raised concerns that the ships are too fragile and that they will not survive the move undamaged, while proponents claim that it is far more risky to leave the ships in their current location due to the hazards of fire and overcrowding. A risk assessment has been carried out on one side of the Oseberg ship, suggesting a move could go ahead without inflicting serious damage to the finds.

The activities of the Museum of Cultural History are currently localised in four main buildings in Oslo city centre (the Historical Museum at Frederiksgate 2, the laboratory sheds at Frederiksgate 3 and St. Olavsgate 29, and the Viking Ship Museum on the Bygdøy peninsula. The museum also has several external warehouses as well as rented facilities for the institution’s larger and longer-lasting projects.

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is Norway’s most frequently visited museum with around 430 000 visitors a year.

Source: Wikipedia /

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