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The National Museum 150th Anniversary

The National Museum of Iceland was founded February 24th, 1863. That day National Librarian Jon Arnason brought a letter to the regional authorities from pastor Helgi Sigurdsson at Jörfi offering fifteen relics a gift to Iceland with the request 'that they be the first sprout in the collection of old Icelandic relics.' Until that time ancient Icelandic objects were mainly preserved in Danish museums. Þórður Jónasson, the regional governor, and bishop Helgi Thordersen accepted this gift in writing the same day. The stamp depicts the cloth of Staðarhóls-Páll, embroidered with silk threads on linseed linen. The cloth is tightly stitched with floral and leaf patterns, animals and people in 16th century attire. The cloth is of foreign origin but came to the museum from Breidafjördur and was regarded as a great treasure at the time.