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Home* News and Stories → Research permission denied

Research permission denied

It seems as if permission for archaeological research is now more often denied than given. In summer 2011, veteran Russian archaeologist Vadim Starkov wanted to excavate a Pomor site in Bettybukta in southern Spitsbergen, but did not get permission from the Sysselmannen. Now another application from Starkov was turned down. Starkov wanted to document a Russian shipwreck, probably dating into the 18th or early 19th century, in Van Mijenfjorden. Parts of the wreck were probably used as firewood or building material. The wreck is lying on dry ground, but is mostly covered with soil. The intention was to remove the soil, document the wreck and cover it again. The Sysselmannen has now denied permission because of the potential risk of damage to the wreck from wind and weather during the period of work. A final decision will be made in Oslo (Riksantikvaren).

Less of a surprise was the decision not to follow a Russian application to build a reconstructed Pomor house at Russekeila, west of Barentsburg. The reconstruction should have served as a museum and tourist destination. Buildings outside the present-day settlements are hardly ever permitted. Additionally, the site in question is near one of the most important archaeological sites from the Pomor period and inside a Geotop (protected area because of geological values).

The Pomors had a large hunting station in Russekeila, between Barentsburg and Kapp Linné. The cross is a reconstruction.

Research permission denied - Russekeila

Source: Svalbardposten (1012)

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange