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  - September 1998. no. 3

LEIF    ERIKSSON

Leif Ericson, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  "Toward year 1000 the norsemen and kalaallit, inuit, go on a dangerous and unsafe voyage. However, unlike Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky, we no longer can find a green promised land. We have make it on our own".

There is no better way of saying it. The qoute is taken from Mayor Henrik Lund´s speech in Qaqortoq during the Icelandic premier David Oddsson´s official visit here in Greenland. The quote expresses the numorous tasks we have to take in preparation of the new kind of tourism, and on the celebrations in year 2000.

Agreement between Iceland and Greenland
11th of August 1998 Declaration on expanded cooperation between Iceland and Greenland was signed. The declaration contains 9 articles, in which article 8 is on Leif the Lucky project and goes like this:

8.
On the occation of that we are entering next millinium, the two countries will celebrate that it is thousand years ago the norsemen found Vinland. On that occation, the two countries have established a special cooperation to get the world´s attention to the heritage the two countries share. To commemorate the countries´ historic connection, the Icelandic government will grant 20 million Icelandic kroners (about 2 mio. Danish kroners) for reestablishment of Eric the Red home in Brattahlid/Qassiarsuk in Eriksfjord/Tunulliarfik. It is also the intention to create a expanded cooperation between the countries in occation of that 1000 years have gone since America was discovered in the year 2000. It can be mentioned among other things:

a. Cooperation on PR-campaigneon Vikingship Ìslendingurs voyage in American Scandinavian Foundation´s new rooms in New York during the September-October in year 2000. The culmination of the campaign will be Leifur Eiríksson´s day the 9th of October. For that occation it is also a plan on extensive presentation of these two countries during the voyage, especially with emphazes on tourism.

b. Preparation of educational and multimedia material for children about Viking era.

c. Issuing of the special Leifur Eiríksson stamp in Greenland and in Iceland on Leifur Eiríksson day the 9th of October year 2000.

Although cooperation will happen "only" on these issues, there is a lot other things that Iceland and Greenland will cooperate on informally, there also is a close cooperation between Iceland and Canada.


  Jonathan Motzfeldt (left) and David Oddsson
Greenlandic premier Jonathan Motzfeldt (left)
and Icelandic premier David Oddsson.
  The visit of the Icelandic committee Landafundanefnd in South-Greeland
The four members of the Icelandic committee visited South-Greenland from the 8th to 11th of July to prepare the content of the agreement, and to see the ruins and conditions for themselves. Although the weather and the icepacks interfered occasionally, the visit has to be accounted as a succes. I like to thank the tourism offices for their effort before and during the visit, I also like to thank the two municilipalities Narsaq and Qaqortoq for their hospitality during the visit.

Journalists on PR-tour.
A major part of marketing of Greenland is done by journalists being invited on press tours in Greenland so they write about Greenland as a tourist destination in their home country. South-Greenland is not an exception. Three journalist and one photographer travelled in South-Greenland for seven days. These journalists were from Iceland, Canada and Denmark.

The trip started with a helicopter tour to Nanortalik, which was the first place that was visited. Afterwards, the trip was supposed to continue to Aappilattoq, where the journalists would spend the night and join in a dance party in the village. Then, the journalists should have walked to Tasermiut/Qinngua. Unfortunately there was so much fog that the helicopter could not fly. Since the icepack had gone back, which was unusual, it was necessary to "escape" northwards to Goldmine Bay, Uunartoq and to an excellent lunch in Alluitsup Paa Seaside Whale Hotel. The lunch was entirely of Greenlandic food. Afterwards the trip was more traditional, they visited norse ruins, toured the towns and spend one night in Outfitter Jørgine Frederiksen´s camp in Tasiusaq. A warm gratetute to all participants during that press tour.

Miniseminar
A miniseminar is planned to take place in Narsarsuaq in October, in which the representants from the three municipalities year 2000 preparation committee will meet and make agenda on the events onto year 2000.

West Nordic Travel Mart
From16th to 18th of September West Nordic Travel Mart will take place in Reykjavik. The South Greenlandic participants and Leif the Lucky project director will share a booth in marketing of travels to South Greenland.

Photo contest
Photo contest was released just before summer vacation, unfortunately it did not gave any results. It had to be realized that it was announced in a wrong media. Next time there is a such contest, the announcement will happen through TV and radio.

Homepage addresse:
The wrong homepage addresse was shown in last issue of newsletter, and this is the correct address:
www.greenland-guide.gl/leif2000/

A visit to Frederikssund and Middle Age Center
The project manager went on "study tour" to Denmark in order to see the Frederikssund Viking Show, they perform Viking Show for guests every year. In 1992, they made a play on Leif the Lucky, from which we could get inspiration for the summer events in year 2000.

Middle Age center in Lolland was not less interesting. For great joy for students, tourist and others, there is workshops and other facilities exactly like the ones in the middle ages. They have 90.000 guests a year! The place is so authentic that one start to think the time has gone back. It could be interesting to have similar workshops here with themes on Center for Inuit, Center for Norsemen etc. Similar workshops are about to be established in Narsaq. There are many possibilities in this form for living museum work, and in both places the local population is deeply involved. However, it takes great effort for the people that are involved in the work, it also requires a lot of economic and human resources. On the other hand, it also creates a high rate of employment during the summer, but also during the rest of the year. It was wonderful visiting the center, the visits also gives a desire to start something similar here in our country.

During the upcoming mini-seminar in October, the ideas will be presented to the local population in South Greenlandic towns and villages.

  Benedikte Thorsteinsson, project director.

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