Image via Wikipedia
Frowned upon: exporting of national artifacts by travelers. Illegal: the removal by archaeologists and scientists of artifacts of national importance with the intent of keeping the original permanently. Arrangements are usually made for examination by the discoverer for a limited period, after which a “cast” or facsimile is made, and the original returned to the country from which it came.
In situ finds are rather simple to manage. Then there is Maud… The battle over the ownership of Maud, Roald Amundsen‘s ship that is grounded in Cambridge Bay illustrates the dilemma of exploration. Amundsen was Norwegian, exploring Canada‘s North in the early 1900s. Who owns the rights to Maud, a century later? Norwegians? Canadians?
Current practice supports the repatriation of the bones of the ancestors of indigenous peoples. Does current practice apply to the bones of a ship?
The resolution of this dispute will be interesting. Perhaps international law is already on the side of the Norwegians?
For six and a half years I immersed myself in all things polar. The day began with a perusal of Arctic and Antarctic news, which I shared through this blog, and most recently, the Linkedin group – Polar Professionals. Five days a week, from 9 to 5, the polar regions were forefront, and when the worked called for it, the weekends too!
I am now free to redefine myself: free to take on a new persona. Evolve, as my pal Trish is wont to say. Yet, I am not ready to let go of the polar in me. There are places in the North I’ve yet to see. The South is my siren’s call.
First step, then, is to consider how I can retain polar in the evolution of me. Redefining is out. Evolution is in. Stay tuned.
I’ve been enjoying the polar trivia specific to the Northeast Passage that Quark has been posting on Facebook. Today, I discovered they are posting trivia on Twitter too.
Not all the information is trivial…they’ve announced that Brian Anderson will be the photographer-in-residence aboard the voyage. I traveled with Brian. He takes wonderful photographs and has a biting wit. He plays Scrabble too.
The Northeast Passage is one of the last great “unknown” transits in the Arctic. Wish I could be aboard!
One of the benefits of using WordPress for my blog is the ability to see the search words people used to arrive here. Jackie Richardson is a very popular search. Currently – Prince Harry in Antarctica – is the most popular.
Prince Harry is not visiting Antarctica. He was earlier today marching across the Arctic Ocean with his comrades. Antarctica is not the Arctic. The Arctic is the High North. Antarctica is the High Southern latitudes.
From an online marketing perspective I am fascinated that a seeker can be completely wrong, yet be successful in their search. There is a lesson in that!
I visited an English bookshop a short while ago, and was gobsmacked to find an entire section devoted to polar books. Not a shelf, or a subsection under history…but a separate section 10 feet high and 3 feet across. Surmise from my surprise that you can’t find such a thing here in North America.
Remainder Bins – Search and Save
For North Americans, the simplest way to find the polar books is to spend a few minutes rooting through the remainder bins – the discount book bins that every bookshop has. While at lunch today, I found The Arctic: Edited by Elizabeth Kolbert at 60% off; North-East Passage to Muscovy, by Kit Mayers at 75% off and a Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife by Richard Sale also at 75% off.
The current books, hardcover and at full cost, were scattered around the store. Sara Wheeler’s book – The Magnetic North was in the Travel section. The trade paperback of Adrian Raeside‘s Return to Antarctica was on the history shelf.
If you’re in a hurry and looking for a polar read stop by the discount bins. And bring a full wallet!