Hurtigruten Museum Nominated for Museum of the Year!

12 April 2024

A freighter, a retired Hurtigruten and the story of an archipelago in the Arctic are nominated for the honorary award Museum of the Year. Just being nominated for Museum of the Year is quite an honor – and that in a solid company of museums! We borrow the words of the Norwegian Museum Association, as they present the nominations:

Jektefartsmuseet in Bodø, the Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes and the Svalbard Museum in Longyearbyen. Three museums that all have addresses “in the north”, and all of which have in common that they are closely linked to enthusiasts who have not given up on dry muck.? 

The three museums each tell fascinating parts of Norwegian maritime history, which together provide a picture of how Norway are bound together. Both the jekta Anna Karoline and the Hurtigruten ship Finnmarken are tangible proof of the importance of mastering the coast and the sea. For centuries the stretch was Bergen ? Kirkenes the only national road between north and south in Norway.? For import and export of goods, people and mail. Trade?stimulated hunting, gathering and fishing, developed?industries, settlement and all what we today call a coastal culture that literally arose in the wake of a “robust” small freighter and a relatively modest express voyage.? 

Svalbard Museum

In Svalbard, the story also starts with the desire to master the sea as part of exploring the world’s outermost borders. The museum’s role is to convey the importance of the great outdoors.? The significance for adventurers heading for the North Pole or shipowners looking for the sea route through northeastern or northwestern waters. For trappers, “coal diggers”, and the inhabitants of the archipelago. For scientists who use Svalbard to measure the Earth’s climate trend. The Svalbard Museum of Nature and Cultural History opened in 1982. In an old pig barn. In 2006 they became part of Svalbard’s modern research park. Today, the museum has 12 employees, and a unique collection of objects that is actively researched, and thus responds to the museum’s political role in strengthening Norway’s position in the international Arctic. 

Jektefartsmuseet

In 2019, Jektefartsmuseet opened, in the shoreline rocks outside Bodø. After seventy years of hard work to ensure a long life for a unique cultural monument?after hundreds of years of hunting speed.? There is Anna Karoline now. In all?its might.? With topsail and mainsail, the ship now plays the leading role in a museum that has also become a friendly meeting place for visitors and locals alike. 

The Hurtigruten Museum

Two years later, in 2021 ? opened the Hurtigruten Museum with MS Finnmarken in a glass house, on the Hurtigruten quay in Stokmarknes. At the place where the southbound and northbound Hurtigruten still docks once a day, and precisely where the story of Hurtigruten started in 1893, after Vesteraalens? Dampskibsselskap was granted a licence for the year-round transport of goods, mail and passengers between Bergen and Kirkenes.

? The idea of turning an eighty-meter-long ship into a giant museum object originated in 1980? And the rest is a story about the driving force of enthusiasts? grit and steely will.?? 

Jury for “Museum of the Year”

The jury consists of Grunde Almeland, chair of the jury and chair of the Storting’s Family and Culture Committee, Lene Høst-Madsen, museum director Museum Skanderborg and Agnes Moxnes, former cultural commentator for NRK.

The award will be presented on April 22, 2024, by Minister of Culture and Equality Lubna Jaffrey during the National Museum Meeting.

Museum Nord is very proud that the Hurtigruten Museum has been nominated for the honorary award “Museum of the Year”!

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