Today I have been to Elverum to attend the opening of the exhibition “The Longest Journey, 1940-1945” at the Glomdal Museum. The exhibition is one of the six exhibitions based on the Royal Collection which are the government’s 75th birthday present to the King and Queen. The King attended, wearing mourning for his sister, Princess Ragnhild, who died on Sunday.
“The Longest Journey, 1940-1945” is a travelling exhibition which deals with the royal family’s flight, exile and homecoming. Elverum seemed a natural starting point as this small town, some two hours north of Oslo, was the second stop on the royal family’s and government’s flight and it was there that King Haakon on 10 April 1940 refused the German demand that he should appoint a government led by the leader of the Norwegian Nazi party, Vidkun Quisling. (Most of the town was consequently flattened by German bombers).
The exhibition will later be shown at Ørlandet, Ålesund, Bodø, Tromsø, Alta, Hammerfest, Harstad, Lista and Stord before ending up at the Defence Museum in Oslo in 2014.
The exhibition was supposed to be opened by Culture Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, but a cabinet reshuffle meant that she was no longer Culture Minister by the time the exhibition opened. Instead the task of declaring it open fell to Rigmor Aasrud, Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs.
The reshuffle was formalised in a State Council at the Royal Palace at 11 a.m. The King appointed Hadia Tajik, a 29-year-old MP from Rogaland, who is considered as a rising star of the Labour Party, Minister of Culture. Jonas Gahr Støre, who had been Foreign Minister for seven years, was moved to the Ministry of Health and Care Services and was succeeded by Espen Barth Eide, until now Minister of Defence. Støre replacesAnne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, who returns to the Ministry of Defence, where she also preceded Mr Eide. The outgoing Minister of Culture, Anniken Huitfeldt, took on the portfolio of Labour, until now held by Hanne Bjurstrøm, who left the government today.