Photomontage Viking © National Museum of Denmark. Martin de Thurah og Kasper Tuxen

The Viking Expedition 2021 in Copenhagen

In 2018, the National Museum of Copenhagen leaped into the netherworld of Jim Lyngvild, presenting a story of the Vikings entwined with fables and fairy tales. At that time, the Museum promised to return to a more academic approach in 2021. In a couple of weeks, we shall know if the museum has succeeded in redeeming itself.

At this time, Vikings (Nordomani Piratide) again came to our shores. They then spread out all over Spain, ravaging its coasts with sword and fire. From there, crossing the sea, they invaded the city of Naacor (Nakūr) in Mauretania and killed a multitude of Chaldeans (Muslims) with the sword. Then, heading towards the islands of Mallorca and Menorca, they depopulated them with the sword. They then sailed to Greece and finally returned to their own country three years later
From: Chronica Asturianas. Ed. by J. Gil Fernandez, J. L. Moralejo, and J. I Ruiz de la Pena (eds). Oviedo, 1985, s. 148–149

The attack on Iberia in 859-61 was the second of three known Viking campaigns, which hit the peninsula and the wider Mediterranean. According to later sources, two brothers, Bjorn Ironside and Hastings, sons of Ragnarr Lothbrook, orchestrated the campaign. Unfortunately, the events are not well known, as the Arab sources are fragmentary. Nevertheless, the curators of the upcoming exhibition on Vikings at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen have decided to use these fabled persons as guides through what seems to be an exciting new display of objects from one of the remarkable collections of Viking stuff in Scandinavia. probably, they were inspired by the 4th season, where Algeciras is attacked.

Apart from this, we do not currently know much of how the curators are considering a Viking exhibition 2021 should look. We may presume, however, that the scientific approach will be more visible than in the hastily set-up show, which was mounted in 2018, and which led to an international uproar.

Indicating this approach are the “minor” sideshows, which for some time have been cropping up in blogposts and other social media. For instance, science have explored the genetic relationship between individuals in both Denmark and Britain. Also, a major textile project has been going on for several years, which has aimed to reconstruct the clothes of buried Vikings. On the other hand, the exhibition will be accompanied by a vivid film re-enacting the raid on Nakur, Cordoba, and along the Mediterranean coast.

We shall see!


Photomontage Viking © National Museum of Denmark. Martin de Thurah og Kasper Tuxen


The Expedition
National Museum of Denmark

2606.2021 – 31.12.2023



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