A drum from 1691 has created strife between Denmark and the Sami people in Norway. The case can now be taken up in Copenhagen by Minister of Culture Anette Trettebergstuen.
Trettebergstuen (Labor Party) does not rule out that the Sami demand to have the drum transferred will be a theme when she visits Copenhagen on Wednesday.
– The drum is not a theme during the official program in Copenhagen. If it should still be relevant to talk about this with my Danish colleague, I would point out that the formal ownership of the drum should be transferred to the Sami Parliament in Norway, says the Minister of Culture to NTB.
She goes to Denmark to participate in the Nordic Council of Ministers and meets, among others, her Danish counterpart, who has now got the drum case on her table.
Conflict is about a drum that was confiscated in Sápmi during the witchcraft trials in 1691 and sent to Copenhagen for storage at the Danish National Museum.
Today, the culturally important drum is back on Sami soil, more specifically at the Sami Museum in Karasjok, but just on a lending agreement that expires on 1 December this year.
Therefore, the Sami Parliament and the museum foundation RiddoDuottarMuseat have urgently asked to take over ownership of the drum. Trettebergstuen is behind this demand.
– The formal ownership of the drum should be transferred to the Sami Parliament in Norway, she states.
For assessment in Denmark
NTB has been in contact with the Danish Ministry of Culture about the case and has received the following response from press adviser Mette Gerlach:
– It follows from the Danish Museums Act § 11, para. 2, that the state museums, including the National Museum, in special cases may, after approval by the Minister of Culture, separate objects, works of art and other documentation from the collection.
Nationally currently the museum is in the process of preparing a professional recommendation to the Ministry of Culture on whether the drum can be separated from the museum’s
Promised to royal level
Earlier this autumn, the then President of the Sami Parliament, Aili Keskitalo, sent a letter to Queen Margrethe in Denmark asking her to get involved in the return of the valuable drum.
The background is that the drum was previously part of the royal Danish collections.
– This is unworthy. Should we beg and smile like kind girls to keep our own cultural objects, Keskitalo told VG.
King Harald has also commented on the matter.
– I know that this is up in the Danish National Museum, and that there will probably be a decision on the early, the king has said.
The drum in question was owned by Anders Poulsen, who was arrested in 1691 in the Nesseby area. He was accused of possessing an oval object called “Rune-Bomme”.
With this instrument, he had “practiced the evil and wicked magic art,” it was stated in the indictment, according to Ságat.
The rune boom was confiscated and sent to Copenhagen, while Poulsen risks the death penalty for his deeds. While awaiting sentencing, however, he was ax-killed by the sheriff’s boy while he lay asleep.