Upon unveiling the sculpture, Ambassador Kløvstad said that that the bust of Amundsen served to illustrate the close historic relationship between Norway and Hobart. Hobart was the first port in which Amundsen anchored following his historic expedition to the South Pole in 1910-1912. Norway and Australia cooperate closely on the Antarctic through the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Life Resources (CCAMLR) and the Antarctic treaty system.
In his speech IMAS director Dr Coleman thanked the ambassador for her participation:
“The Ambassador’s presence here today reflects the importance of Roald Amundsen in Norwegian and Antarctic history, as well as the modern links between Norway and Australia as nations that are deeply involved in polar research and governance.”
The sculpture, one of three made by American sculptor Victor Lewis and commissioned by Norwegian explorer and businessman Einar Sverre Pedersen, was presented to the people of Tasmania in 1988 to commemorate Amundsen’s arrival in Hobart on 7 March 1912 after he led the first team to reach the South Pole.
The bust has had a number of homes since 1988 and was moved to the entrance of the new IMAS Building to make it more accessible for local and international visitors, and to recognise the historical significance of Hobart as a gateway to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The two other sculptures are located in Spitsbergen on Svalbard and Nome in Alaska.