Review board to hear appeal for Amundsen ship
Jan Wanggaard will appeal to bring 100-year-old partially sunken ship to Norway
A Norwegian man will go before a review board in Ottawa this week to make a plea for permission to salvage Roald Amundsen's sunken ship and bring it to Norway.
The Maud wreck sits in shallow water near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
Last year the federal government denied the Norwegian group 'Maud Returns Home' an export permit to bring the ship back to Norway.
Now, the Norwegians remain committed to bringing the ship back, despite the bureaucratic strains of moving a 100-year-old ship wreck.
"The bureaucracy is always something I have a hard time working with," said Jan Wanggaard, the project leader for the Norwegian team.
"I like to spend my time focusing on the practical challenges."
The Norwegian group owns the title to the ship and they have technical plans to lift it from the seabed and move it to Norway. They have the money needed, and also support from Norway’s monarchy.
"We have a personal support from the present King Harald of Norway for this project," said Wanggaard.
The group still needs an export permit. Wanggaard says at best, this week the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board will reverse the original ruling and give them a permit. The board is a part of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
At worse, the Board will impose a two to six-month wait time to see whether a Canadian institution has a plan to save the Maud.
"We just don't think there are anybody else, but if there are, yes, we'll have to listen to them," said Wanggaard.
The Review Board has no authority to permanently refuse the export of an object. If no Canadian group buys the ship before the export delay period expires, the Norwegian group will be able to bring it to Norway.
After nearly two years of work, Wanggaard says he will have about 15 minutes on Thursday to make his appeal. He says he will explain how the group intends to move the ship and detail plans for a museum back in Norway.