Body recovered after Arctic Norway helicopter crash

Norwegian authorities said Tuesday they had recovered the body of one of the eight people aboard a Russian helicopter that crashed in Norway's Svalbard archipelago last week.

Body recovered after Arctic Norway helicopter crash
Svalbard. Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

The eight Russians, five crew members and three scientists, are all presumed dead.

“One person was brought to the surface this morning. The body was lying on the ocean floor around 130 metres (430 feet) from the helicopter wreck,” Terje Carlsen, a spokesman for the Svalbard authorities, told AFP.

The search for the seven other victims was continuing on land and at sea, he said.

The helicopter, a Mil Mi-8, went down on Thursday afternoon two or three kilometres from Barentsburg, a Russian mining community in the archipelago.

Norwegian authorities, who dispatched a large search and rescue mission to the scene, announced Sunday that they had found the helicopter on the ocean floor.

Norway, a NATO member, was afforded sovereignty of Svalbard, located around 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole, under a treaty signed in Paris in 1920.

Nationals of all signatory states enjoy “equal liberty of access and entry” to Svalbard and its waters.

As a result Russia operates a coal mine in Barentsburg, home to several hundred Russian and Ukrainian miners, giving Moscow a presence in the geopolitically strategic region.

READ ALSO: Russian helicopter missing in Arctic found on seabed, eight presumed dead: rescuers


Norway digitally freezes national treasures and stores them in Arctic archive

Norway’s National Museum has preserved some of the country’s most treasured artefacts digitally and stored them in a former mine on Arctic archipelago Svalbard.

Norway digitally freezes national treasures and stores them in Arctic archive
Photo: Bartek Luks on Unsplash

The Arctic World Archive was originally constructed in 2017 to “protect the world’s most important cultural relics”, the National Museum said on its website.

The data preservation facility is located on the island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago, not far from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The National Museum has now placed its entire collection of around 400,000 items as digital copies on plastic film rolls, which are to be stored at the Longyearbyen site.

“The dry, cold and low-oxygen air gives optimal conditions for storing digital archives and the film rolls will have a lifetime of around 1,000 years in the archive,” the museum writes. Emissions emitted by the archive are low due to its low energy consumption.

Offline storage of the archives also insures them against cyber attacks, the museum said.

In addition to all data from the National Museum collection database, high-resolution digital images of works by selected artists are included in the archive.

Works to be stored include ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch, ‘Winter Night in the Mountains’ by Harald Sohlberg, the Baldishol Tapestry and Queen Maud’s ball dress.

“At the National Museum we have works from antiquity until today. We work with the same perspective on the future. The collection is not only ours, but also belongs to the generations after us,” National Museum director Karin Hindsbo said via the museum’s website.

“By storing a copy of the entire collection in the Arctic World Archive, we are making sure the art will be safe for many centuries,” Hindsbo added.

In addition to the Norwegian artefacts, organisations from 15 other countries are represented in the archive, including national museums in Mexico, Brazil and India; the Vatican library, Sweden’s Moderna Museet and Unicef.

READ ALSO: Norway's Arctic 'doomsday vault' stocks up on 60,000 more food seeds