More cracks found in Viking ship

Bookmark and Share

Officials at Oslo’s famed Viking Ship Museum have found more cracks in the wooden Gokstad ship that’s been on public display since 1932. Anxious experts have added to its support apparatus, in the hopes of preventing the ancient vessel from collapsing.

“When 1,000-year-old ship planks begin to weaken, the situation is extremely serious,” said Håkon Glørstad, director of the University of Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History that’s responsible for the Viking ships. “Wood that’s so old doesn’t have the same flexibility as modern wood and can totally collapse, quickly and without warnng.”

Glørstad told newspaper Aftenposten on Monday that in its current location, “we can’t develop the overall support systems needed to secure the ship’s entire hull.” He said the current base is no longer adequate and the space around the ship too confined.

The museum has been sounding alarms for months, even years, about the condition of the vessels and has been promised new surroundings for its three Viking ships found in Vestfold between 1857 and 1904. The government has granted project funding but not funding for the actual construction of an expanded Viking ship museum at its current location at Bygdøy, meaning no new facility to better preserve the ships will be finished before 2025 at the earliest.

newsinenglish.no staff