Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Ars Navalis goes North!

A couple of months ago I visited the Viking Ship Museum of Roskilde, few kilometers far from Copenhagen. Roskilde is the old capital town of the Danish Kingdom where, during the 11th century, fearing an attack from Norway, some ships were sunk near Skuldelev, in order to make a barrage across a narrow channel.
Danish archaeologists recovered 5 wrecks (actually 6), now in exhibit to the Roskilde Archaeological Museum. Feeling tired hearing the word “museum”? Do you feel your eyelids falling down? Probably you never visited a scandinavian museum.
I’d like, once in my life, meet a lamp genius and pose 3 questions: where finishes the sky? What my turtles are dreaming while sleeping? And finally, why italian museums are so boring?
No matters. One day we will discuss about museums, Virtual Reality and useful knowledge.
Today let me talk about the Roskilde Museum and the tiny beauty living there. I’m not talking about the danish girl working on the Roskilde bakery, but about the elegant, sinuous, small trade ship Skuldelev number 3, aka “The Roar Ege”.
I met her on the meadow near the Museum. I dont know if she was shivering under her winter wooden coverage, I was for sure. Maybe emotion, probably thin cotton socks. Thinking to viking ships my mind runs directly to Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis, an old movie picture with pale colors. By the way, my father took me to visit the 1958 movie-set right in... Croatia. An adriatic fjord few kilometers away from my old home.

This is Hollywood, baby.
Look to the tapering keel of the Skuldelv 3.
This is History, baby.

Not a large “drakkar” ship, full of blonde, grinding teeth men. The Roar Ege is just a small cargo ship, probably built locally in order to trade, or fish near the fjord.
Touch it, if you can. Look at the detailed framing system, the mast beam.
It is enough to make a mediterranean man feeling a drop of viking blood screaming in the veins.
Moreover, the Viking Ship Museum is not simply a place where old ships are recovered.
The near Archaological Workshop is the place where master carpenters are building replicas of ancient ships, and where you can sail as the crew of an ancient viking ship.
Definitely the Roskilde Museum  http://vikingeskibsmuseet.dk is one of the best places I visited in Europe where history makes a sense. My opinion is that a good museum is a place offering you to be going back at home with more curiosity then before.
Probably this is why I started working to my personal Roar Ege, sailing now in SL.

A wonderful copy of the Skuldelev 2 “Sea Stallion”, built by Doctor Asp, is moored near the SL Roskilde Museum of SL.

This is a wonderful project promoted by the Roskilde University, Department for Communication, Business and Information http://worlds.ruc.dk. Another time something very interesting coming from Denmark.
Virtual Reality like a place where to experience history: taking the same feeling of the real Roskilde Museum. Raise curiosity is the first step to the knowledge? Virtual Reality can help us to move across the “ overloaded information noise”, using curiosity as a compass?
Well, the discussion is open.