Swedish Viking treasure rescued for public by charity funds

A Viking treasure hoard, which historians in Sweden feared would be lost in a sale to private buyers, has been saved by two charitable foundations. It will now go on display in public museums.

Swedish Viking treasure rescued for public by charity funds
An archive photo of the Everlöv Hoard when it was put on display in Lund in 1986. Photo: Historical Museum at Lund University

The collection, which was to be sold in a controversial auction on Friday April 29th, has instead been bought in its entirety by the Gunnar Ekström Foundation for Numismatic Research and the Sven Svensson Foundation for Numismatic Research. 

It will now go on display as part of the Royal Coin Cabinet at Stockholm’s Economy Museum. 

The collection forms part of the so-called Everlöv Hoard. The youngest coin has been dated to 1018, placing it in the Viking era, while the oldest coin dates back to the 800s.

“It’s great news that the Everlöv find can be kept together as part of our shared cultural heritage, and will be available for research,” museum head Cecilia von Heijne told union magazine Magasin K.

Birgitta Hårdh, a professor emeritus of archaeology at Lund University, who originally described the sale as “a great tragedy”, also welcomed the news.

“It’s really good news, I’m so happy about this!” she told the magazine.

Hårdh has been campaigning for the hoard to become state property since the 1980s.

“Now the treasure has been saved and there will a chance to study it. I hope it will be put on display soon so people can get to see it,” she said.

Gitte Ingvardsson, a numismatician – someone who collects or studies coins – at Lund’s Historical Museum, said the acquisition was “the best news in a long time!”

“I’m extremely happy to hear that the hoard will be preserved in its entirety, and I’m grateful to my colleagues in Stockholm who have made a great effort to ensure that this story has a happy ending”.

The hoard, comprising of 912 coins and 40 silver items, 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.

The original plan was that the hoard would be put on sale in widely-criticised auction on April 29th.

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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: