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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Museum acquires Thor Heyerdahl photos

The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, dedicated to the life and work of Norwegian researcher and explorer Thor Heyerdahl, has taken over a huge collection of photos taken of Heyerdahl over a 25-year period. The photos offer unique insight into one the most internationally famous Norwegians.

The nearly 5,000 photos were taken by Italian portrait photographer Walter Leonardi, who became acquainted with Heyerdahl after a meeting in Italy in 1970. Heyerdahl, who died in 2002, had moved to Italy in 1958 and lived in a villa in Colla Micheri.

Leonardi followed Heyerdahl closely, also eventually to Easter Island, where fully 4,000 of the photos were taken, and to Fatu Hiva, where Heyerdahl had lived and studied with his first wife Liv Coucheron Torp in the 1930s. Leonardi also took pictures of Heyerdahl on travels in South America, to Pakistan and Egypt.

Museum officials, who acquired the photos after two years of negotiations with Leonardi, call the collection “unique” and important, because they document Heyerdahl’s life over a long period and offer insight into his personal life, “how he danced, worked in the garden (in Italy), swam in the Pacific,” Martin Biehl, director of the Kon-Tike Museum, told Aftenposten. The photos were officially taken over last month, with some of them already put on display at the museum on Oslo’s Bygdøy Peninsula. staff



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