The Viking ships at Bygdøy have not been granted any financial support in the new state budget. Several believe they need immediate securing to avoid new injuries this coming summer.
During the past year, damage has been discovered on both the Gokstad ship and the Oseberg ship. This summer, emergency support was required on the Gokstad ship, because parts of the hull began to sag.
In a press release from the University of Oslo (UiO), which is responsible for the ships, it is said that the ships will slowly break down and eventually collapse if no comprehensive fuses are introduced.
“We have long known that we must do something to save the Viking era in a proper way for the future. The damage detected this summer tells us that time means everything,” says museum director Håkon Glørstad in the press release.
The Museum Director believes that the decision not to grant support to the Viking ships is was to further finance the Jeløya platform which was announced by the government in January.
“They came with promises to set money aside for museums in Norway. It is then sensational that the government chooses to disregard the information that the ships are at risk of destruction and do not take responsibility for securing Norway’s most iconic cultural heritage for posterity,” says Glørstad.
UiO states in the press release that the 5 million promised to the research project Saving Oseberg II will continue in 2019, but believes that it does not solve urgent needs in the preservation work.
The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy is Norway’s best-visited museum, with about half a million visitors each year.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today