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Norwegian Viking Treasure Found

November 20, 2017.  Nearly three months after thieves climbed up scaffolding to the seventh floor of the University Museum of Bergen, Norway, broke a window, and stole 400 Viking artifacts from the Cultural History Collections, the majority of the objects have been returned. Asbjørn Engevik, the head of the Department of Cultural History Collections at the museum said that the return of the artifacts marked “a day of joy for us.” Engevik also said that the museum staff were working hard to figure out what had been found and what was still missing before returning the objects to the display.

According to a report on the University of Bergen website, in early October a man walked into a Bergen police station and turned himself in in conjunction with the theft, saying he “deeply regretted” his actions. This spurred the investigation that led to the arrest of two other men in early November after several items from the museum were found in the home of one of them. A fourth person connected with the case is currently under medical care. A preliminary court hearing was held in early November confirming the arrests.

In a press conference, prosecutor Linn Revheim said that the burglary didn’t appear well organized or planned and was possibly drug related. The artifacts were found in a big [Ikea] bag and were badly handled, causing some damage that will require restoration. It also appears that some of the gold artifacts are missing.  According to an article in the Local, “Police are assessing whether potential charges against the suspects could include damaging culturally or historically valuable objects.” Engevik reported that he is hopeful that because the objects were found in the Bergen area, the rest of the collection will also be recovered.

(See Committee for Cultural Policy article Theft of Viking Treasure Devastates Norwegian Museum)

Copyright: Copyright University of Bergen, Norway (

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