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Queen Sonja opens cultural exhibition

Queen Sonja
Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

On Thursday, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway opened a new exhibition in the Norwegian city of Lillehammer at the Maihaugen Museum. Maihaugen’s new exhibition “Impulses” shows more than 1000 cultural treasures from Norway with clear traces of influence from around the world. The exhibition covers almost 800 square meters and will be a new large year-round offer at Maihaugen.

When Her Majesty arrived at Maihaugen she was welcomed by Police Chief Johan Brekke, Mayor Ingunn Trosholmen and County Governor Knut Storberget.

During the opening speech, the Queen said: “It is a great pleasure to be back on Maihaugen, a place I thrive very well and feel at home. Maihaugen’s skilled professionals know how to value our ancient cultural history in a way that makes us wiser, that enriches us and that helps us to see the connections between our own time and the past.”

The Queen continued: “I hope the exhibition will be of joy to a wide audience from both home and abroad. Perhaps people from other parts of Europe will recognise something of their own in what was created in Gudbrandsdalen several hundred years ago! I think that is a nice and beautiful thought. Congratulations on the great work that has been done!”.

From the new exhibition. Photo: Liv A. Luane / The Royal Court.

An example that the Queen pointed out in the speech was the acanthus motif. It originates from Greek tombs and has spread to large parts of the world. It has also been an important inspiration for the distinctive rose painting and woodcut in Norway.

The opening took place in the grand hall of the museum, beautifully framed with traditional music and folk music from Edvard Grieg. After the opening, the Queen was given a guided tour of the exhibition. First in the exhibition was curator Kåre Hosar and she showed stately sledges and 18th-century folk art in Gudbrandsdalen. Then the Queen was shown weapons from the Scottish invasion of Norway in 1612 and the world’s oldest revolver, dated to 1597. The exhibition also contains costumes, tapestries, toy cars, musical instruments, puppet theatre and church art from the Middle Ages.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.