President of the Storting Olemic Thommessen will speak at Moss to celebrate 200 years of peace between Norway and Sweden. Photo: Audun Braastad / NTB scanpix
The Norwegian coastal town of Moss celebrates a historic chapter in Norway's and Sweden's past on Thursday.
The little southern Norway town was where, exactly 200 years to the day, the Moss treaty was signed; A ceasefire agreement between Norway and Sweden that ended the last war between the two countries.
The original document will travel from the Norwegian parliament to “Konventionsgården” yard in Moss, where it will be exhibited on Thursday as part of the bicentennial celebrations.
Parliament president Olemic Thommessen said to NTB: “A big marking of the event will be arranged in Moss. This will celebrate the beginning of the second and, in many ways, the most interesting part of the celebration of the Norwegian Constitutional Laws. It is about saving the Constitutional Laws and moving from a national battle, to a battle for values.”
It is the second time this year that the president of the Norwegian parliament is travelling around with a 200 years old document. On May 17th, Norway's National Day, Thommessen brought the Constitutional Laws document from the Norwegian parliament to the “Eidsvoll” building, via police escort.
There's no police escort on Thursday, but the president of the Norwegian parliament promises that the precious Moss treatie will be well guarded.
Thommessen said: “I will guard it as if it was my own. It is with great awe we bring it to Moss.”
The Moss treaty is normally stored in the archives of the Norwegian parliament, but this year it is placed on display at the anniversary exhibition in the parliament building.
The Moss treaty, like the Norwegian Constitutional Laws, is written on cloth paper. Such paper is manufactured from textile fibres and therefore keeps in good condition.
It is in reality two documents. Not only is it a ceasefire agreement, but it is also a political document that laid the basis for Norway being able to keep its constitutional laws as a union between Norway and Sweden was formed.
The parliament president speaks of it as: “A political handcraft, pointing into the future.”
The Norwegian Crown Prince couple, Minister of Culture, Thorhild Widvey, and many other official guests are among the invitees attending the Moss celebration on Thursday. Among the duties of the Norwegian Crown Prince, is giving the “Peace Speech 2014” at the main event in Moss's Verket Arena.