Proposed Ship Move Stirs Outrage

Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The University of Oslo has decided to move three grand Viking ships, probably by truck and barge, to a new museum across town despite dire claims that the thousand-year-old oak vessels could fall apart en route, according to a report on the New York Times News Service.

A retired curator of Oslo's current Viking Ship Museum -- Arne Emil Christensen -- reportedly has said the delicately preserved ships, two of which are nearly 80 feet long, were almost equal in archeological importance to the Pyramids.

The university's board of directors voted 8-3 to move the vessels over the objections of Christensen and several other Viking Age scholars. The board wants to transport the popular ships from a remote Oslo peninsula where they have been housed for more than 75 years to a large, multifaceted museum in the center of the capital.

The three ships were pulled in pieces from separate Viking burial mounds more than a century ago, then painstakingly reassembled. Since then they have deteriorated markedly.

The most spectacular of them, the Oseberg ship, was built around 800 and has enlivened the covers of many history books. Viking raiders carried by such ships were the scourge of Britain and much of the European continent from the 8th to the 11th Centuries.

(Source: New York Times News Service)

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