Cultural heritage in Norway and the international exchange of ideas
The intellectual platform for Norwegian cultural heritage protection was laid out by our first famous painter, Johan Christian Dahl. He was born in Bergen, the second-largest city in the country, situated on the west coast of southern Norway. Bergen had a rich cultural life with a wide international perspective as it was a trading port exporting dried fish to Europe and was a member of the German Hanseatic League only. In Russia, cultural heritage protection was the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture. In Norway, cultural heritage matters concerning buildings and archaeology had been the responsibility of the Environment Ministry since its establishment as the first of its kind in Europe in 1973. The Directorate for Cultural Heritage decided to send a fact-finding mission to Russia to learn about the heritage protection system in the Russian Federation and make contacts with individuals and institutions with whom we could establish cooperation in our field.