Up into European top division
«Legends in Gold» will give Bergen City Museum a boost.

Bergen City Museum moves up into European top division

1280 981 Ove Sjøstrøm

Moves up into European top division

«Legends in Gold» will give Bergen City Museum a boost.

By: Ove Sjøstrøm/Creato Media

– This is among the most spectacular archaeological exhibitions ever to have been on display in Norway. We now have a golden opportunity to lift Bergen City Museum up onto a level with the major museums in Europe, says Marianne L. Nielsen, director of Bergen City Museum.

– We always want more of the city’s inhabitants to come to our exhibitions, says Nielsen, and adds:

– With the upcoming exhibition, we are hoping for even greater interest in the museum’s activities.

Unique in the world

The unique exhibition «Legends in Gold – Thracian Treasures from Bulgaria», which consists of artefacts from the several thousand years old Thracian culture, is coming to Bergen in the autumn. Thrace represented a large geographic area by the Black Sea and had its centre in what is now Bulgaria. There are also traces of the Thracian culture in parts of Romania, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, Moldova and Macedonia.

Marianne Nielsen

Marianne L. Nielsen

In recent years, the only places outside Bulgaria where it has been possible to see these exhibits are the Louvre in Paris, the Moscow Museum and the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. This autumn the exhibition is coming to Bryggens Museum.

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– Everyone who has seen these artefacts at close quarters is amazed at the unbelievable level of detail in the handicraft.

The level of goldsmith skills and cultural art is incredibly high, says Nielsen.

This is such a major attraction that it will have a spill-over effect on tourism

A reason to go to Bergen

Many European cities have exhibitions that give people a reason to visit the city.

– We don’t need to look far. Copenhagen is such a city. In Bergen, KODE has managed to achieve this with Munch and Astrup. «A reason to go» is when someone travels to a city for the main purpose of visiting an exhibition or attraction. We believe that «Legends in Gold» is the type of exhibition that will give people a reason to travel to Bergen, and not least get the people of Bergen out of their armchairs, she says.

 – Will the exhibition have a spill-over effect?

– For Bergen and the West of Norway, definitely. This is such a major attraction that it will have a spill-over effect on tourism. We should also remember that the «whole world» will be coming to Bergen in the autumn for the UCI 2017 Road World Championships in September. We hope that this exhibition will help to promote Bergen as a tourist destination to a large audience.

Having the «Legends of Gold» exhibition at Bryggens Museum will probably open the door for other big and valuable exhibitions in the future. We have high ambitions for the museum, says the museum director.

Formal opening

The exhibition will open at Bryggens Museum at the beginning of September 2017.

– The opening programme has not yet been finalised, but there will be high level political participation from both Norway and Bulgaria, says Nielsen.

She also thinks that Norwegians will gain a different perspective on Bulgaria after having visited the exhibition, as a contrast to charter tours and cheap alcohol. Bulgaria also offers sophisticated culture, fantastic architecture, statues, artefacts and amphitheatres, as well as everything else that is usually associated with Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

– The rich Bulgarian cultural heritage, a culture that is relatively unknown for most people, will definitely be in focus at Bryggens Museum this autumn, concludes Nielsen.

Bergen City Museum manages a good selection of cultural heritage exhibits with its nine museums in Bergen Municipality. In addition to a large number of artefacts of priceless historical value, the City Museum also manages 120 historical buildings. Last year, the number of visitors exceeded 200 000 for the first time in the museum’s history.