Norway, Russia argue over Svalbard history

The Norwegian Governor of Svalbard has requested the Pomor Museum in the Russian settlement of Barentsburg to hand over historical objects, which he believes are poorly preserved by the Russians. However, the Pomor Museum refuses.


The Pomor Museum in Barentsburg is in poor condition, and was this summer closed to the public. Recently, the Norwegian Governor of Svalbard sent a message to Trust Arktikugol, the mining company which is in charge of the Pomor Museum, requesting the transfer of the objects to the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen until a new museum is built in Barentsburg. However, Trust Arktikugol does not agree and refuses to hand over the valuable materials.

The wooden objects are from the 1700 century when Russian hunters lived on Svalbard. These objects require a special climate to be preserved and the Governor of Svalbard is afraid that the current placement in Barentsburg is insufficient. According to Svalbard regulations, all historical objects found on the islands belong to Norwegian authorities.