Industrialism and democracy

Norsk Bergverksmuseum (The Norwegian Mining Museum) is perhaps primarily known for the Kongsberg silver mines.

Throughout 2014, however, the focus will be widened.

With a series of lectures, exhibitions and other events built around the values of community, equality and democracy,

Norsk Bergverksmuseum will commemorate the 200th jubilee of Norway’s constitution alongside the rest of the nation.

It is fair to say that when silver was discovered at Kongsberg in 1623, it was the beginning of an industrial fairytale.

There was, however, much more yet to come. This year, Norsk Bergverksmuseum is celebrating industrialist Paul Steenstrup.

200 years ago this spring, he not only established Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (The Kongsberg Weapon Factory)

but also contributed to the writing of Norway’s constitution.

This dual 200th anniversary will be the focus of an exhibition opening on 25 March.

Telling the story of industrialism and technology in Kongsberg, the exhibition features, among other things, Steenstrup’s own beautiful drawings.

According to Halvor Sælebakke, consultant for sales and communication,

Norsk Bergverksmuseum’s chosen keywords for 2014 – community,

equality and democracy – are based on principles cemented in the Norwegian constitution.

As Sælebakke explains, “these values are central to Norsk Bergverksmuseum in 2014.”

From 1814 to 2014

Though the main attraction of the museum is almost 400 years old, the 2014 programme in no way eschews modernity.

Alongside lecture topics such as ‘Paul Steenstrup – visionary technologist and pre-industrialism industrial entrepeneur’ (25 March),

talks and exhibitions also cover topics like present day democracies, and a discussion of sports idols as role models in modern society.

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