‘A great tragedy’: Viking treasure hoard soon up for auction in Sweden

A Viking hoard comprising 912 coins and 40 silver items is to be sold at auction in Sweden to the disappointment of researchers, who are calling for laws to be changed to prevent similar sales in future.

'A great tragedy': Viking treasure hoard soon up for auction in Sweden
An archive photo of the Everlöv Hoard when it was put on display in Lund in 1986. Photo: Historical Museum at Lund University

Birgitta Hårdh, a professor emeritus of archaeology, said that such treasures should be placed in public ownership to prevent finders from splitting them up and selling them on the market.  

“The auction is a great tragedy, it belongs to the state and should not be sold, in my view. It would be very, very tragic if the treasure were to be split up,” Hårdh, who organised an exhibition of the collection at Lund University’s Historical Museum, told the HD and Sydsvenskan newspapers. 

The items are part of the so-called Everlöv Hoard, and the youngest coin has been dated to 1018, placing it in the Viking era. The oldest coin in the hoard dates back to the 800s. At the end of April, the coins will be put on sale in an auction.

The coin collection, which has never been in the Swedish National Heritage Board’s possession, was found in the 1980s inside a chiffonier, a type of wooden furniture similar to a sideboard.

A relative of the current owner of the hoard had placed the items in the chiffonier which had then been passed down through the generations to different members of the family.

Under the Swedish Historic Environment Law or kulturmiljölagen, prehistoric discoveries must be reported to the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelse).

However, the law is unclear when it comes to items discovered indoors – which is why researches are now calling for the law to be changed. 

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VIDEO: Three times Sweden poked fun at Eurovision

With Sweden one of the favourites to win Eurovision this year, let's take a look at the times when the country showed up the sheer ridiculousness of the song contest.

VIDEO: Three times Sweden poked fun at Eurovision

Eurovision is often known for eyebrow-raising entries featuring bizarre local traditions or, frankly, eccentric outfits. Although Sweden takes the contest seriously when it comes to its song entries, that doesn’t mean Swedes don’t sometimes celebrate the weirdness of Eurovision.

Love Love Peace Peace

Who could forget Måns Zelmerlöv and Petra Mede’s run as Eurovision presenters in Stockholm in 2016? Zelmerlöw, who won the contest the year before in Vienna, was joined by comedian Mede, who had presented the contest in Malmö three years earlier.

The two performed a sketch titled, “Love Love Peace Peace”, an attempt to make the perfect winning Eurovision song. The clip features former winners Lordi who won for Finland in 2006, and Alexander Rybak, the Norwegian violinist who won for Norway in 2009.

Watch the clip below and see how many references to previous Eurovision entries you can recognise.



In this bizarre clip from Sweden’s Eurovision Song Contest qualifiers Melodifestivalen in 2009, Swedish comedy group Grotesco perform a mid-show sketch full of Russian stereotypes, including Cossack dancers, matryoshka stacking dolls, and a chorus of men dressed like Russian soldiers. The choreography also featured several scantily clad women wearing tight-fitting shorts with a single red star splaying their legs toward the camera in unison.

The clip caused controversy in Russia, after The Local reached out to Russia’s embassy in Stockholm for a comment – a spokesperson called the song “offensive” and “disconnected”, and condemned the sketch in an official statement:

“We do not react to eccentricity by some lunatics whose Russophobia should place them in an asylum rather than on Globen’s stage.”

See the clip for yourself here:


Lill Lindfors and her wardrobe malfunction

Lill Lindfors, a Finnish-Swedish singer and comedian, presented the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest in Gothenburg following Sweden’s win the previous year in Luxembourg.

Prior to hosting Eurovision in 1985, she had placed second in the 1966 contest with the song “Nygammal vals”.

In a clip which reportedly displeased the European Broadcasting Union who manage the contest, the bottom half of Lindfors’ dress was ripped off by a piece of set, exposing her underwear.

Lindfors paused, feigning shock, before quickly pulling a new dress down from the remaining top half of her outfit.

You can watch the iconic moment here (narrated by Terry Wogan, the BBC’s Eurovision commentator for many years) and decide for yourself whether it was meant to happen or not: