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Remarks by:
First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton
NMNH Director, Robert Fri
Nordic Council of Ministers Chairman Bjorn Bjarnason
Pres. & CEO, Volvo Cars N. America
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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga is made possible through the generous support of Smithsonian partners Nordic Council of Ministers and Volvo.
This exhibition is presented in partnership with the White House Council on the Millenium.


Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

Remarks by Hans-Olov Olsson
President & CEO,
Volvo Cars of North America, Inc.

As we prepare to enter the new millennium, Volvo is pleased to join the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Nordic Council of Ministers in presenting a traveling exhibit that reintroduces to North America the significant history and heritage of the Vikings, and celebrates the ideals, values and unfaltering zeal for discovery and adventure that led this remarkable people to a new continent, and continues to lead us on new journeys today.

The exhibit Vikings: The North American Saga documents the arrival of the Nordic people in North America in 1000 A.D., along with the history and culture they brought from the old world, almost 500 years before Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. And it reveals the values of a people who held several of the same beliefs we at Volvo continue to hold and admire today - environmental awareness, respect for individuality and democratic social structure.

In addition to celebrating these important Viking values, Volvo is also pleased to support an exhibition that honors the Vikings' most stunning accomplishments - the development of new modes of transportation and the exploration of new worlds. With no technologies or experience to guide them, the Vikings of 1,000 years ago relied on their innate desire to explore. Their quest for discovery and adventure helped them create extraordinary sailing ships making them pioneers of transportation - not just to reach a destination, but to forge links with unknown peoples, open doors to new worlds of religion and art, and build the ties of commerce and trade, all shortening the once vast distances between cultures.

At Volvo, we continue to act with the same spirit of adventure, and like the Vikings, strive to develop vehicles designed to challenge boundaries and transport us to new horizons.

Looking to the future, it is with a great sense of Nordic pride that Volvo supports Vikings: The North American Saga, and shares with millions the legacy of a people who led us to new lands during the first millennium, and whose values and ideals will continue to inspire us as we embark on another 1,000 year journey.

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