The wreck of Roald Amundsen’s Maud may yet leave its icy resting place in Nunavut, Canada, where it has lain since it sank in 1930.
A group of Norwegian investors who own the Maud say they are appealing the federal government’s denial of an export permit to move the shipwreck to Norway where it would be the centerpiece of a museum to be built near Oslo.
The reason for the refusal of the permit—that an archaeological study must first be carried out on the wreck—came as a surprise according to Maud Returns Home, a website documenting the effort to bring the Maud back to Norway.
“We applied for an export permit based on the fact that Maud was not listed as an archaeological site, as it is not on the official control list,” the website stated.
“Despite this we do not oppose, in principle, an archaeological study, but we consider a further detailed study of the Maud as it lies today at the seabed in addition to what is already gathered through our Survey and Documentation of 2011 to be of marginal value.”
Amundsen, a national hero in Norway, was the first explorer to travel the Northwest Passage and reach both the North and South poles.
He set out in the Maud, named after one of Norway’s former queens, in 1918 in hopes of reaching the North Pole. After several attempts, the voyage proved unsuccessful (he later reached the pole by seaplane in 1925), and amid escalating debts, the ship was seized by his creditors.
Upon being sold to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1925, the ship was renamed the Baymaud and used as a floating warehouse and wireless radio station in Cambridge Bay until it sank over 80 years ago.