It's Official: Norway Can Bring Home Explorer Roald Amundsen’s Ship “Maud”

It's Official: Norway Can Bring Home Explorer Roald Amundsen’s Ship “Maud”

Ottawa : Canada | Mar 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM PDT
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Amundsen's ship Maud 1917

In a meeting Thursday, the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, in Ottawa, the board directed the Canadian Border Services Agency to issue an export permit to the Norwegian group The Maud Returns Home Project.

The story of the Maud and how she came to sink in Cambridge Bay in 1930, started in June 1916 when she was launched with Roald Amundsen crushing a chunk of ice against her bow in Asker, Norway. As he crushed the ice to her bow Amundsen said “It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice you shall solve your tasks. With the permission of our queen, I christen you: "Maud.”

After many a voyage into the ice in August 1925 the Maud was sold on behalf of Amundsen's creditors in Seattle, Washington. The buyer was the Hudson's Bay Company which renamed her Baymaud. While she was being used as a supply vessel for the Canadian Outposts in the winter of 1926 she froze in at Cambridge Bay, where she sank in 1930.

6 decades later in 1990, the Norwegian community of Asker, a suburb of Oslo, bought the ship for $1 from the Hudson’s Bay Company with the intent of raising her and returning her to the port where she was built.

On Friday 16th March 2012 the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, in a letter to the Norwegian ambassador, the board said the group would be given an export permit for the wreck, although the Maud is valuable to Canada, the loss of it would not hugely diminish national heritage.

Jan Wanggaard, manager of The Maud Returns Home Project, said even Norwegian King Harald is behind returning the Maud, because his grandfather was a friend of Mr. Amundsen, and because the ship was named after his grandmother Queen Maud.

Lennard Sillanpaa, president of the Canadian Nordic Society, said he was "pleased" the ship is returning home. "It's a good thing that some proper care will be taken of the ship. I just hope that some sort of connection can still be made with the community of Cambridge Bay where it has been all these years," Sillanpaa said.

Wanggaard, project leader of The Maud Returns Home Project, said the wreck will probably be moved in 2013.

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The "Maud" as she looks today
Maud shipwreck 2012 near Cambridge Bay Nunavut
Larry-Crehore is based in Longmont, Colorado, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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