National Museum of Iceland
|Established||24 February 1863|
The National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafn Íslands [ˈθjouðˌmɪnjaˌsapn ˈistlan(t)s]) was established on 24 February 1863, with Jón Árnason the first curator of the Icelandic collection, previously kept in Danish museums. The second curator, Sigurður Guðmundsson, advocated the creation of an antiquarian collection, and the museum was called the Antiquarian Collection until 1911.
Before settling at its present location, at Suðurgata 41, 101 Reykjavík, in 1950, it was housed in various Reykjavík attics, finally for forty years in the attic of the National Library building on Hverfisgata (Safnahúsið, now the Culture House, Þjóðmenningarhúsið).
A key object in the permanent exhibition is the Valþjófsstaður door, a celebrated carving depicting a version of the Lion-Knight legend where a knight slays a dragon, thus freeing a lion that becomes his companion.
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