The Friends of the Viking Ship Museum have donated 250,000 DKK, setting the course towards the world’s longest Viking ship.
Some day in the future, a reconstruction of the world’s longest Viking ship will be launched from the Viking Ship Museum’s boatyard – this is the dream shared by the archaeologists, boatbuilders, ship reconstructors and historians who work daily at the Viking Ship Museum with exploring the sublime and technically-demanding craftwork of the Vikings. Now, it’s also a dream shared by the members of the Friends of the Viking Ship Museum.
In 2004, the Viking Ship Museum’s 30-meter-long Viking ship, Sea Stallion from Glendalough, was launched, after several years detailed reconstruction work. To date, it is the longest reconstructed Viking ship in the world. The ship then went on to execute a legendary trial voyage from Roskilde, north around Scotland to Dublin and back again via the English Channel. The voyage brought back entirely new knowledge about how the Vikings sailed and was instrumental in promoting the Viking Ship Museum’s experimental archaeological research on a global level.
It was a dream that became a reality. Now, the dream is even bigger: the Museum wishes to recreate the world’s largest Viking ship, Roskilde 6, which was excavated from Roskilde harbour in 1996-1997. The impressive ship is 37.4 meters long – a whole 7 meters longer than Sea Stallion.
But it’s one thing to dream and quite another to garner the support, to say nothing of the finances, to make the dream a reality. It demands an economic investment that’s above and beyond the Museum’s purse and also the support from pioneers who share the Museum’s vision and dare to take a chance in bringing the plan into fruition.
600 Friends give a quarter of a million DKK
The association, Friends of the Viking Ship Museum, have chosen to give the Museum a donation of a quarter of a million kroner in order to begin the work with reconstructing Roskilde 6, which is the longest known Viking ship. The sum is the result of membership costs which have been saved up over a three-year period, and the Chairman of the Friends Association, Ole Christiansen, is delighted that the members can contribute to the advancement of the Viking Ship Museum’s research:
“I am very, very proud of the fact that we’ve succeeded in gathering this sum of money, so a start can be made, and I can’t think of a more fitting endeavour than this for an association like ours to support”.
The 250,000 kr will cover the costs of developing reconstruction drawings, establishing an outreach and education plan and the material that will be required in order to apply for the 30 million kroner that will be needed to pay for the construction itself:
“With their donation, the Friends of the Viking Ship Museum have provided the prerequisites that allow us to dream about this giant project, and for finding the necessary financing”, tells Museum Director, Tinna Damgård-Sørensen.
About the project 'The Longship Roskilde 6'
Building the world’s longest Viking ship will cost over 30 million kroner which must be sought from foundations, but the donation from the Friends of the Museum gives the Viking Ship Museum the chance to carry put the preparatory work and develop the material needed to get the process going.
The project ‘The Longship Roskilde 6’ will be a combined research and education and outreach project, which will revolve around the full-scale reconstruction and test-sailing of the ship, as well as publication of the work from excavation of the ship, through reconstruction and testing, as well as an interpretation of the ship’s cultural historical context.
The goal of building the longship in full-scale supports the Viking Ship Museum’s craft and reconstruction environments, as well as strengthening the Museum’s experimental archaeological research, so that expertise is maintained and the Museum’s specialised craft environment is nourished through the training of apprentices and collaboration with other craft centres at both national and international institutions.
The building itself is expected to take place over a period of 4-6 years.
Info on the ’Friends of the Viking Ship Museum’ association
The association was established in 1990 by a group of history enthusiasts, with the aim of supporting the Viking Ship Museum’s work and development.
The association now has over 600 members and these members regularly support the Museum through volunteer work.
One third of the members membership payments go directly to the Viking Ship Museum’s development and research projects.
The association regularly holds members lectures about historical ships and voyages and about more recent archaeological finds, both on land and from the sea.
Info on the archaeological ship-find, Roskilde 6
The longship Roskilde 6 was excavated in 1996-1997 in connection with the establishment of the Viking Ship Museum’s harbour and Museum Island.
The ship was found together with 8 other ships from the Viking and Middle Ages, which had lain preserved outside of what was then Roskilde harbour.
The ship is 37.4 m long and 3.5m wide, making it the world’s longest Viking ship, and required a crew of 100 men.
Analysis of the ship’s timbers have shown that the ship was most likely built in Southern Norway around the year 1025.
Af: Rikke Tørnsø Johansen
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