Everyone received with great joy the news that UNESCO had decided, on July 5th, to include the founding of Hydro in the province of Telemark in its exclusive list of World Heritage Sites.
Today, the cities of Notodden and Rjukan officially celebrate their inclusion on the list, and the festivities even include a ride with the ferry «Storegut», which is part of the heritage itself. Among the guests, we can mention the minister of the environment, Tine Sundtoft, the director of the National Heritage Institute, Jørn Holme, the mayors of both cities and the executive chairman of Hydro, Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
«The recognition that inclusion in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites fills us with pride and humility. It is based on this heritage and heritage that we are still working today to renew Hydro and face the challenges of today and tomorrow, ”said Brandtzæg at the time.
«There is no doubt that this recognition is a great example of the innovative engineering, determination and social awareness that the company demonstrated at the time.”
The heritage sites in Notodden and Rjukan are, in practice, industrial heritage sites in the first two decades of the last century. It was at this time that researcher Kristian Birkeland, engineer Sam Eyde and project manager Sigurd Kloumann created Hydro. In addition, Eyde and Kloumann built other companies that also became central to Norway's history, fostering the second industrial revolution in Norway, generating growth, optimism, jobs and new industrial centers. In this way, the construction of Hydro represents not only the beginning of a spectacular industrial adventure, but also a fundamental piece in what would become the new industry.
«The work carried out by the entrepreneurs in the province proves to be of the highest quality and, more than 100 years later, we can see that it remains in its element and partially in operation. This is something unique worldwide and we would like to help Telemark to have an even stronger presence on the world stage, ”says Brandtzæg.
One of Hydro's contributions to the celebration is the new industriarven.no website, which is being launched today.
«Our desire is to contribute so that the industrial heritage and the foundation of Hydro are known to the public and are accessible to all”, says Ole Johan Sagafos of Hydro on the website, which was developed in partnership with the Museum of Industrial workers.
«Our target group is not people especially interested in history, as they already dominate this subject, but, rather, tourists and families with young children, who usually plan trips by car or on foot in the region. The new website is what people usually call “one page website”, that is, easily accessible, with short texts and easy to understand and that can be easily read on the computer, tablet or phone.
Sagafos says that industriarven.no is not ready and finished, as the plan is to develop it further, inserting more content, lived experiences and new possibilities to learn more about Hydro's origin.
industriarven.no is only available in Norwegian at the moment, but will soon be available in other languages as well.