Celebrated with the publication of digital diaries and Amundsen – Dagsavisen

This weekend, Roald Amundsen’s home in Nordre Follo reopened after two years of the pandemic. The Swiss villa, which is now a museum, was nearly as untouched as it looked when Amundsen disappeared in 1928.

“It’s nice to finally be open again, it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to open to the public,” said professional consultant Anders Bache at Roald Amundsen’s house in NTB.

The unveiling took place just in time to celebrate the 150th birthday of the polar hero. During the pandemic, the museum was launched digital version of the Amundsen house, where every nook and cranny is 3D scanned. In the anniversary year, the museum has a number of new items in stock.

Among other things, the polar explorer reappears “alive”, albeit in the form of a digital version of himself.

– In collaboration with one of the world’s best 3D animators, we digitally recreate Amundsen, so you can chat with him. Something similar has been done with Einstein, for example. We hope the project will be ready by the anniversary date of July 16, said Bache.

In another major digital project, which will only launch in a few years, the public will have the opportunity to join Amundsen on a polar expedition through VR technology.

Diary published for the first time

It’s been 111 years since Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole, a feat that may rule all his expeditions to the extreme ends of the globe.

Amundsen kept a diary of his expeditions, which was published in book form. But in a personal diary from 1925, he described his relationship with his great love – the married woman Kiss Bennett. The diary was hidden from the public for 50 years, before being opened in the archives of the National Library in 1990.

This summer, the diary will be published in book form for the first time in a collaboration between the National Library and the Follo Museum.

While the successful adventurer often travels the world telling about his polar accomplishments, he protects his privacy very well. Therefore, the diary provides a unique insight into the emotional life of polar explorers, Bache explains.

– Here we meet an Amundsen in his 50s who is happy, jealous and full of longing and feelings. It’s a story that makes him more human, he said.

New item exhibition

The 150th anniversary was also marked by a number of other events. Letter launched earlier this year two new postage stamps with a portrait of Roald Amundsen on the occasion of the anniversary. It is also planned to unveil a statue of Amundsen in Kolbotn, the administrative center of Nordre Follo – which is now Amundsen’s home municipality.

This summer, the Amundsen Museum will be open later than usual, hosting a number of events and exhibiting never-before-seen objects and photographs.

The 150th anniversary itself, July 16, marks the museum with birthday cakes, lectures and backyard parties, where drinks will be served based on old drink recipes that were recently found in a drawer at Amundsen’s house.

– It’s a mixture of sherry, sugar, liquor and water, so it’ll be good, laughed Bache.

Constantly new discoveries

The world map still has some white dots in Amundsen’s time. Like the old world map, much remains unknown about Amundsen’s life and work.

The end of the life of the polar explorer remains a mystery to historians. In June 1928, then 55-year-old Amundsen voluntarily contributed during a search operation for his Italian rival, Umberto Nobile, who had disappeared on an expedition to the North Pole.

Amundsen’s plane took off from Troms on June 18, and is said to have disappeared near Bjørnøya south of Svalbard. Neither the plane nor Amundsen were ever found.

Even nearly a hundred years later, new objects are constantly being found in the nooks and crannies of Amundsen’s old house, Bache explains.

– At the latest this week, we find a cloth bag from the South Pole expedition that we’ve never seen before. We sometimes find letters, we find things between the sofa cushions. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle without the corner pieces, a puzzle that gets bigger and bigger, Bache said.

Facts about Roald Amundsen:

* Born in Borge outside Fredrikstad July 16, 1872 before his family moved to Oslo, where he grew up.

* In 1906, aboard the Gjøa, he became the first person to sail through the Northwest Passage, the famous sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that crosses Canada.

* On December 14, 1911, he became the first man to reach the South Pole, while British rival Robert F. Scott and his crew died in what became a race between the two to reach the pole.

* Sailed the Northeast Passage across Russia on the polar ship Maud from 1918-1920.

* Flying over the North Pole on a Norwegian plane in 1926.

* Disappeared without a trace on 18 June 1928 near Bjørnøya south of Svalbard in the Latham plane while he was taking part in a search operation for his Italian rival Umberto Nobile.

* For the last 20 years of his life he lived in a Swiss villa right by the sea in Svartskog in Nordre Follo. The house is now a museum and was barely touched when he left it in 1928.

Georgie Burke

"Music maven. Evil pop culture lover. Unapologetic creator. Friend of animals everywhere."

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