The project will include the construction of a new exhibition building that will secure the invaluable ships against storm surges, rising water levels, and the negative effects of daylight.

"I'm not just happy. I am also extremely relieved that we can now begin to protect the ships from the recurring storm surge threat. I am deeply grateful for the generous support we have received to secure our invaluable cultural heritage," museum director Tinna Damgård-Sørensen stated.

Millions in donations from three Danish foundations

The Villum Foundation will support the project with DKK 60 million, the Augustinus Foundation will contribute with DKK 50 million, and the Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation will set aside DKK 25 million.

"With the donations, the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum of the future can now begin to take shape. It is a great pleasure for the whole city that the museum will get the right platform to tell the fantastic story of the times when the ships sailed the seas, and Roskilde was an epicenter for trade and activity. I am very excited that we reached this milestone," Mayor of Roskilde and chairman of the board of the Viking Ship Museum, Tomas Breddam, accentuated.

An important milestone

The Viking Ship Museum has worked on plans for a new museum for several years, and with the new donations, the Viking Ship Museum can now continue the work. 

"We are pleased with these donations, which will enable us to continue supporting the Viking Ship Museum - an involvement that goes all the way back to the VILLUM FOUNDATION's brother, Aage Kann Rasmussen. The upcoming project will create a secure framework for an important part of Denmark's and Europe's history and allow visitors to experience new information on the Vikings, their impressive craftsmanship, and rich maritime culture," Chairman of the Villum Foundation, Jens Kann-Rasmussen, stated.

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde often launches new Viking ship replicas. Photo: Roskilde Viking Ship Museum

Future-proof exhibition building

The Viking Ship Museum can now look forward to the construction of a new, future-proof exhibition building for the five Viking ships that belong to Denmark's most prominent cultural heritage. 

There, visitors will be able to experience the great and captivating story of how the Vikings changed the world with their ships - and how the world they met changed them. 

At the same time, the museum will have a new welcome building and new outdoor areas that will ensure that visitors get a coherent museum experience.

"The ships are world-class cultural heritage and an important part of our history and identity. As a foundation, we like to contribute to preserving cultural heritage with national and, as is the case here, even international significance - at the same time as creating a completely new, future-proof framework," Frank Rechendorff Møller, CEO of the Augustinus Foundation, stated.

Ambitious overall plan

The new exhibition building and the building where guests will be welcomed, expected to be completed in 2027, are part of the ambitious overall plan for the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. 

In addition to the exhibition building and the building where visitors will be welcomed, the overall plan also includes a transformation of the original Viking Ship Hall as well as landscaping that will give the public even better access to the coast and the fjord.

"When we talk about the Viking Age, we often think of conquests, but the Viking Age is very much about trade with the whole of Europe, taking inspiration home from abroad, developing new boat building technology, and a proud craft tradition that is still alive. 

"It is a period that has helped shape the Danish national identity, which is important to convey to future generations based on ongoing research and live dissemination of knowledge. We are pleased to be able to support the dissemination in the new Viking Ship Museum - a project that is naturally an extension of the Foundation's many years of focus on innovative dissemination of Danish cultural history," Foundation Director of Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen's Foundation, Christine Wiberg-Lyng, noted.

Architect competition for the entire museum project

The architectural competition for the entire museum project will be launched at the end of the year, and at the end of 2023, the winning project will be chosen. 

The Viking Ship Museum is in dialogue with foundations about the last part of the financing of the overall project.

The launch of the Viking ship replica "Havhingsten," a 30-meter-long reconstruction of a longship from the Viking Age. Photo: Werner Karrasch / Roskilde Viking Ship Museum

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