Minnesota museum to host Vikings exhibit in St. Paul

Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2001

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Vikings are returning to Minnesota, 1,000 years after they first sailed across the North Atlantic in open boats and became the first Europeans in North America.

The Science Museum of Minnesota will display the manuscripts, embroidered textiles, bronze swords, jewelry and replicas of ships in November 2002 as part of ''Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga.''

The traveling exhibit managed by the Smithsonian Institution commemorates the Vikings' arrival in North America about 1,000 years ago. It will be ''the biggest thing we've done since we moved into our new building,'' says Science Museum spokesperson Carleen Pieper.

If crowds at previous stops in Washington, D.C., and New York City are any indication, it might become the biggest exhibit to land in St. Paul since large crowds flocked to the Civic Center to see ''America's Smithsonian'' in 1996.

Filled with more than 300 artifacts from museums in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the exhibit is on a two-year North American tour that originally didn't include a stop in Minnesota.

The Science Museum and several local Scandinavian cultural organizations, including the Norwegian Consulate General and the American Swedish Institute, both in Minneapolis, persuaded the Smithsonian to extend the tour by six months and bring ''Vikings'' to the Twin Cities.

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