Canada considers fate of Arctic explorer's ship

Mar 15, 2012

A panel of experts on Thursday considered a proposal to repatriate Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's three-mast ship Maud from the Canadian Arctic.

A Norwegian group asked the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board to revisit a decision in December denying an export permit for the ship, after residents of Cambridge Bay, Canada opposed losing a treasured artifact that has become a tourist attraction in the far north.

The remains of the ship that once belonged to the Norwegian explorer sit at the bottom of Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, but its hulk is partly visible above the that preserved it for decades.

"Today's hearing went well and we are optimistic about the possibility of reaching a positive result," Jan Wanggaard, manager of the effort to bring the Maud to Norway, told AFP.

A decision is expected as early next week.

In 1906 Amundsen became the first European to sail through the searching for a shorter shipping route from Europe to Asia, something explorers had been trying to find for centuries.

Five years later he became the first person to reach the South Pole. His attempts to reach the North Pole however failed.

Amundsen again sailed through the with the Maud in 1918-20, but was unable to get far enough north to launch a North Pole expedition. Amundsen tried, and failed, one more time from the in 1920-21.

The Maud, built in Asker, Norway and named after Norway's Queen Maud, was sold to Hudson's Bay Company in 1925 and rechristened the Baymaud. It ended its days as a floating warehouse and the region's before sinking at its moorings in 1930.

In 1990 Asker Council in Norway bought the wreck for just $1 and obtained an export permit from Canada. The permit however has expired.

The Norwegian group hoped to obtain a new export permit to return the to Norway at mid-year to be the centerpiece of a new museum, but the Canadian review process has so far delayed that to at least 2013.

The board heard arguments by the Norwegian group against a government expert's call for an archeological survey of the ship and a delay of its removal from Canadian waters to allow a Canadian group to buy her.

Explore further: More than 2,200 confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake

Related Stories

Canada may buy back Amundsen's Maud

Dec 20, 2011

After sinking Norway's plans to repatriate explorer Roald Amundsen's three-mast ship Maud from the Arctic, Canada signalled Monday it may buy the shipwreck.

Visitors crowd South Pole for anniversary of conquest

Dec 12, 2011

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will join dozens of adventurers at the South Pole this week to mark the 100th anniversary of countryman Roald Amundsen's groundbreaking expedition to the frozen continent.

Crew circles North Pole in one summer

Oct 14, 2010

A trimaran sailing boat circled the North Pole in a single summer season, a feat made possible by global warming and the melting of the Arctic ice cap, the boat's international crew said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Did Kathmandu shift? Questions and Answers

1 hour ago

The tremor which struck Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 3,500 people, may have caused a land area around the capital Kathmandu to budge by several metres, experts say.

More than 2,200 confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake

Apr 26, 2015

A powerful aftershock shook Nepal on Sunday, making buildings sway and sending panicked Kathmandu residents running into the streets a day after a massive earthquake left more than 2,200 people dead.

Nepal quake: Nearly 1,400 dead, Everest shaken (Update)

Apr 25, 2015

Tens of thousands of people were spending the night in the open under a chilly and thunderous sky after a powerful earthquake devastated Nepal on Saturday, killing nearly 1,400, collapsing modern houses and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.