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MNH Welcome Delegation from Iceland 30 October 2008

Twenty one members of the Icelandic Saga Trail Association have just completed a seven day visit to the Island, organised by Manx National Heritage.

The visiting delegation included experts in cultural tourism from the Icelandic Saga Trail Association, together with a representative from the Orkney Islands, with all representatives having a strong interest in the Isle of Man’s unique Viking and Norse heritage.Iceland Saga Association pictured at the Manx Museum

Stephen Harrison, Director of Manx National Heritage said:

“The Island’s heritage provides strong opportunities for international collaboration especially in relation to our connections with Celtic, Viking and maritime traditions. The Icelandic Saga Trail delegation were here to learn about the Isle of Man’s heritage sites and study MNH’s model for co-ordinated heritage management and promotion.”

In recent years, MNH’s expertise in protecting and presenting the Island’s heritage through the ‘Story of Mann’ has brought a number of groups from Europe and beyond to undertake study visits to the Isle of Man. Many of those have been from Norway, Sweden, Denmark with a particular interest in our Viking heritage and the overall interpretive strategy of the Island’s heritage sites.

Einer Saemundsen and Andrew Johnson at Tynwald in St JohnsThe delegation from Iceland was funded by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme, which is part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme. The party was led by Rögnvaldur Guðmundsson, Chair of the Iceland Saga Trail Association.

The Icelandic Sagas form a body of Norse and Celtic literature, written from the period of settlement of the country in about 870 to 1550.

The Saga Association itself was founded in May 2006, with the objective of providing a forum for collaboration and consultation for those involved in history and saga related tourism in Iceland, especially with regard to publicity, quality and professional standards of presentation.

Saga Association member, Ásborg Arnþórsdóttir, commented:

“We had a fantastic week in the Isle of Man and all agree that it was very educating and inspiring for us. We will bring home a lot of knowledge and ideas and we look forward to further cooperation and projects with Manx National Heritage.”

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