Norges Bank

Press release

Exhibition: Saving Norway’s gold

The gold bullion shipped from Oslo on 9 April 1940 will be displayed for the first time in a new exhibition opening on Thursday 8 May at the Historical Museum in Oslo.

The exhibition, entitled "The Heavy Load", features 13 932 gold coins, weighing a total of 136 kilos, which were part of the gold bullion that was secretly transported out of Oslo on 9 April 1940 during the invasion of Norway in World War II. The gold was needed to finance the Norwegian royal family and the government's operations in exile and to support the resistance movement. The gold coins in the exhibition are normally stored in Norges Bank's vault and have never before been exhibited.

"The gold has an iconic position in the history of Norges Bank and the gold shipment of 1940 has a similar standing in modern Norwegian history", says Professor Svein H. Gullbekk, curator of the exhibition.

"Norway's gold has served the nation in many different ways. For a long time, it guaranteed the value of the currency. When Norway was invaded in 1940, the gold was an important reserve that could be easily converted into money. Saving Norway's gold was vital. I am very glad of the opportunity to exhibit these gold coins for the first time along with the dramatic story of their evacuation from Norway", says Governor Øystein Olsen.

The exhibition also features 26 metres of illustrations in cartoon format created by Mélanie Sourisseau, showing the dramatic course of events as the gold was transported out of the country during the invasion on 9 April 1940.

Norges Bank has worked in collaboration with the Museum of Cultural History to build one of the most secure museum exhibitions in the world and featuring the largest collection of gold coins.

The exhibition will be opened by Governor Øystein Olsen in the new Norges Bank room at the Historical Museum on 8 May at 5.30 pm.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 9 May.

"The Heavy Load" is part of the exhibition "For the Love of Freedom", which opens at the Historical Museum  on 17 May.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 7 May 2014 15:30