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Sweden offers cash reward to sword-finder 'Queen Saga'

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Sweden offers cash reward to sword-finder 'Queen Saga'
The sword will be put on exhibit at a museum in Sweden. Photo: Andrew Vanecek
12:47 CET+01:00
Saga Vanecek, the girl who pulled a pre-Viking era sword from a Swedish lake, is now being rewarded for her efforts – and here's what's happening to the sword.

The Swedish-American eight-year-old may not have been crowned Queen of Sweden – despite the suggestion of thousands – but she will be given a reward of 15,000 kronor (approximately $1,670).

The Swedish National Heritage Boards usually ends up paying out between 500 and 1,500 kronor for most finds, although very rarely discoveries such as silver treasures might fetch up to a few hundred thousand.

"When a find gets a lot of attention, as it did in this case, it raises expectations of the value. It's important to consider that there's a difference between the scientific value, which is enormous, and the economic value, which is based on how much someone might be prepared to pay for the find," Anna Östling of the National Heritage Board told The Local.

Sweden's cultural heritage law stipulates that a find of this case be offered to the state in the form of the National Heritage Board, which may then decide to pay out a reward. The exact amount was set by an independent valuer with knowledge of archaeology and the auction industry, said Östling.

"In this case the price is reduced because of the poor condition of the sword and that it needs extensive conservation work. It will also probably never be possible to pull the sword from its sheath."

The sword is undergoing a conservation process which is expected to take around a year, after which it will be put on show at the Jönköping County Museum. So far we know that radiocarbon methods have dated it to 650-770 AC, an era that precedes the Viking Age and is known as the Vendel Period in Swedish history.

"We are really grateful for everything, I think she will be overjoyed," Saga's mother Madeleine Vanecek told Swedish radio. "We promise that she will get the money and do something good with it when she gets older, maybe study to become an archaeologist."

The sword grabbed headlines around the world last year after The Local first covered the story in English, with many naming her as the new Queen of Sweden when not busy making Monty Python references

As for Saga herself, who grew up in Minnesota but moved to Sweden in 2017, when we asked her how she felt about the huge reaction, she said it was "cool", but that she hopes to become a doctor, vet, or actress.

Read The Local's interview with the young sword-finder HERE

 

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