Historical garbage

Nussbaum, a German Second World War weather station

One dilemma the Sysselman (the Norwegian governour on Spitsbergen) faces is how to deal with cultural remains. Officially everything from before 1946 is considered cultural remain and is not to be touched at all. Even though this does make sense, this would mean things will break earlier or will be taken home as souvenirs, this also means it cannot be repaired or cleaned. As the climate is very unforgiving a small not repaired crack in a hut might mean the end of the hut if the wind gets hold of it.

Another problem is that many expeditions, like this Second World War German weather station in Krossfjord, left everything they didn’t need behind after they left. It is great to be able to tell the stories connected to those places, but I always have the feeling to be walking around in a garbage dump, not something you want when visiting these pristine places… But I must admit that I don’t really have a good solution for it either. Taking it away and placing it in a museum would take away the possibility to see the place in its natural environment. Maybe trying to restore things in the old historic state? Though I don’t see how that would work with ‘garbage’ like this…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


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