17 June 2010: Professor Jan Bill from the Viking Ships Museum in Oslo cut the rope and thereby marked the kick-off for building the Oseberg ship replica. Mr. Bill and professor Egil Mikkelsen from the Cultural Historic Museum in Oslo made speeches at the opening ceremony.
In his speech ship builder Geir Røvik expressed a wish that many people will enjoy the ship once it’s built and encouraged volunteers to lend a hand to the project. Sculptor Grace-Jane Holmberg had made a wooden statue of the Nordic god Njård. As the patron of seafarers, Njård will keep a watchful eye on the building process. He was therefore given a sip of mead by chairman of the foundation, Einar Chr. Erlingsen, and asked to provide a good, peaceful working year for the ship, its builders and all who will sail on her.
Several hundred people attended the ceremony that also included cultural elements by theatre duo Volvinar Vikin and the Tønsberg Shanty Choir. Arne Petter Ødelund blew a fanfare on his lur.
Bellwether Media, a production company making an hour-long programme about the New Oseberg Ship and Viking Vestfold, had a camera team on site to film the proceedings.