County reports looting of ironclad ‘Norway’

Ironclad NorgeThe Norwegian coastal defence ship HMS 'Norge' during her transfer of Norwegian writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's coffin from France to Norway.

County Municipality reports looting of ironclad ‘Norway’

The Nordland County Municipality reports the illegal removal of items from the ironclad ‘Norway’ in Narvik Harbour.

 

During the winter, divers entered the armored ship ‘Norway’ and removed several items from the ship which, together with ‘Eidsvold’, was sunk by the Germans during the invasion of Norway on April 9th, 1940.

In total, 276 people died (101 from the ironclad ‘Norway’) when the obsolete ships were to take up the fight against the far more modern German ships.

– The illegal removal of artifacts, as well as the destruction of parts of the ship, is contributing to the removal of important parts of both national and regional war history. The value of the ironclad ‘Norway’ as a national heritage has been reduced as a result of these actions, according to a press release from Nordland County.

The wrecks were temporarily protected in 1999 after several cases of looting of the wrecks. An absolute dive ban was imposed, and it was not allowed to approach closer than 100 metres from the wrecks. The ban was lifted in 2014 and only days afterwards the first divers were in place.

Cultural monuments

Among other things, a distress pipe, a rudder telegraph and a speech tube were removed from the armored ship, according to divers.

Although the county council of Nordland is not the responsible authority for the shipwreck, I view the looting as being very serious. The county municipality has therefore chosen to report this crime to the police, says County Council for Culture, Ingelin Noresjø (KrF).

The County Council has initiated a meeting involving them, Tromsø Museum (which, according to the Cultural Heritage Act, has responsibility for marine heritage sites north of the polar circle) and the Directorate of Cultural Heritage. The aim is to solve how these kinds of cultural monuments can be protected from looting and destruction.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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