During the weekend of August 11 to 13, some 400 Viking artefacts were stolen from Bergen University Museum in Norway. The museum is calling for help to locate this precious heritage.
The stolen items are essentially from the Iron Age, Migration Period and Viking Age, dating back 500 BC to 1030 AD. The thieves took small objects, easy to carry, probably hoping they would be easy to sell.
“If the stolen objects are not returned, this will be by far the most devastating event in the 200 years of Norwegian museum history,” the director of the University Museum of Bergen in southwestern Norway, Henrik von Achen, told ICOM.
Local and international authorities are investigating the case while ICOM is making sure it does everything it can to support the museum’s effort to locate the objects by liaising with its close partners, Interpol and World Customs Organisation.
While surveying online trading platforms, the museum engaged in an awareness-raising campaign to prevent the objects from ending up on the art market. Widely broadcasting the information on this stolen collection may discourage their sale and eventually encourage their safe return to the museum.
ICOM is concerned with this devastating museum robbery and calls on its international network to support the Bergen University Museum in its efforts to recover this irreplaceable testimony of Norwegian culture and history. If you suspect a cultural object originates from the Bergen Museum, please contact this email address.
The museum has already published hundreds of pictures of the stolen items on social media.
For easy download of the images available, visit their Flickr account.