In 2025/2026, a new museum of the Viking Age, which will be an extension of the present Viking Ship Museum, will open on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo and, as part of this exciting new project, preparations are already underway to ensure safe handling of the ships and artefacts during the move.
Transportation of a Viking-era burial ship is set to go ahead, following the use of weighing technology that provided the project team with accurate data to ensure the ancient structure would not be damaged.
The artefact is the biggest of three ships, all of which are moving to an extension of Norway's Viking Ship Museum.
In preparation for the project, the museum’s specialist conservation and collection management staff have been closely collaborating with Statsbygg, the Norwegian Government’s key advisor in construction and property affairs, and external experts to ensure the safe handling of the ships and artefacts, both during the construction process and transition to the new building.
The museum is also collaborating with HBK to weigh the ships. Weighing the ships has three main purposes: to determine the total weight; to establish weight distribution; and to monitor changes over time, such as moisture absorption, which can lead to changes in shape. Viewed together with different 3D scanning methods, the ability to monitor the weight distribution will also enable museum staff to understand any potential changes to the ships and effectively remedy them.