SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

400 Viking objects stolen in Norway museum heist

Some 400 Viking objects were stolen from a Norwegian museum at some time over the weekend of August 11th-13th, the museum's director said Sunday, describing the loss as "immeasurable".

400 Viking objects stolen in Norway museum heist
Photo: Universitetsmuseet i Bergen / NTB scanpix

“If the stolen objects are not returned, this is by far the most terrible event in the 200 years of Norwegian museum history,” the director of the University Museum of Bergen in southwestern Norway, Henrik von Achen, told AFP.

The items, most of them small metal objects like jewelry, “do not have monetary value attached to them” and the value of the metal itself “is also quite small,” he said.

“Yet the great and immeasurable loss is connected to the cultural history value of the items, which exceeds the monetary value many times over,” he added.

Thieves were able to enter the museum on the seventh floor via scaffolding on the building's facade.

The stolen objects had been temporarily placed there ahead of a planned transfer to a more secure location on August 14th.

“The (security) measures were not sufficient, we should have had additional security elements in place,” he acknowledged.

Norwegian police are investigating the case together with their international counterparts.

Meanwhile, the museum was surveying all of the stolen objects and posting photos of them on social media sites so “that the items become well-known and hence more difficult to sell and easier to spot,” von Achen said.

READ ALSO: High-value objects stolen from Norway museum


Photo: Universitetsmuseet i Bergen / NTB scanpix


Photo: Universitetsmuseet i Bergen / NTB scanpix
 

OSLO

Norwegian intelligence agency apologises over Oslo Pride shooting

Norway's domestic intelligence service apologised Thursday after a report concluded it could have prevented a shooting on the sidelines of Oslo's Pride festival last year that left two dead.

Norwegian intelligence agency apologises over Oslo Pride shooting

On the night of June 25th, 2022, a man opened fire outside a gay bar in central Oslo during the Pride festival, killing two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounding nine others.

Just after the attack, police arrested the suspect, Zaniar Matapour, a 43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin who had contacts with a known Islamist extremist in Norway, Arfan Bhatti.

The motive for the attack has yet to be officially established. But a report commissioned by the chief of police and the PST intelligence service, published Thursday, concluded that it would have been “possible” to prevent the shooting if agents had followed up on early warning signs.

The PST was criticised for failing to take preventive measures despite information suggesting that Bhatti could use Matapour for an act of “political violence”, as well as for lowering its surveillance of Bhatti, who posted an image on Facebook of an LGBT flag in flames a few days before the shooting.

It also came under fire for not keeping a close eye on Matapour despite a June 20th warning from the Norwegian military about the risk of an imminent
“terror attack” that suggested the involvement of Bhatti, who was known to be abroad at the time.

“We apologise for any potential evaluation errors that were made and the consequences these had,” PST chief Beate Gangas said after the report was published.

Matapour was quickly overpowered by passers-by and found to be carrying a hundred rounds of ammunition for his weapons.

“It could have turned into one of the deadliest attacks in Europe in years,” said the head of evaluation committee, Pia Therese Jansen.

Twenty-five other people were injured in the chaos that followed the shooting.

Matapour is currently in custody on suspicions of a terrorist act, but has yet to be charged. His trial could take place in 2024.

Bhatti, who is suspected of being an accessory, has been arrested in Pakistan and Norwegian authorities are seeking his extradition. Two other people are also being held as suspects in the case.

SHOW COMMENTS