Viking ships to get new Oslo museum

Norway’s government includes construction of a new Viking Age museum in its budget

Viking ship museum

Photo: Madison Leiren
The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy in Oslo.

Victoria Garza
Norway Today

As part of the Granavold Declaration, the Conservative Party, Freedom Party, Liberal Party, and Progress Party have agreed that a new museum will be built for the Viking ships and the Viking Age collections.

The declaration states that the government will start work on the construction of the Viking Age Museum at Bygdøy.

Research, Science and Higher Education Minister Iselin Nybø, Vice-Chancellor Svein Stølen from the University of Oslo, and Museum Director Håkon Glørstad indicated that a clear signal has been given for the construction project at Vikingskiphuset on Bygdøy.

“This allows us to secure and preserve the ships and collections for the future. This is our world heritage; we shall take care of that, and I am very happy that all doubts are now gone—now it will be building a new Viking era museum,” says Nybø.

The new museum will be 140,000 square feet, of which over 53,000 square feet will be exhibition space. The aim is to create a living museum with exhibitions that are updated and convey the Viking Age in a stimulating way.

In addition, there will be a shop and restaurant, the possibility to hold events, and a museum park.

The Viking inheritance is important

“Of all the buildings and construction projects that are ready to receive a start grant, I am very happy that the new government has pushed forward the Viking Era Museum. This was important for the Left party, and the Viking history is important for the country,” says Nybø.

The Viking Age Museum at Bygdøy is part of the Cultural History Museum at the University of Oslo. In the museum there are burial artifacts from Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg, and Borre.

The most important goal of a new museum is to ensure access to cultural history, enhance knowledge and understanding of the Viking Era, increase security for the Viking Era collection, and provide better working conditions for the employees.


Museum Director Glørstad believes it is crucial for the collection’s safety to get a new museum in place as quickly as possible.

“We have long known that something must be done to secure them in a responsible manner for the future, and now it’s time to get started. That the government is now in favor of this is absolutely fantastic,” he says in a press release.

UiO Director Stølen is very happy, and also relieved. “There was great disappointment at the university when the museum was not included in the final state budget for 2019, which was adopted before Christmas.

“It has given many people at UiO sleepless nights. Now we are in a new phase. This is important for the culture and knowledge of the nation of Norway and for the University of Oslo,” he states.

This article originally appeared in the February 8, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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