Minister Sasi opened the Vikings exhibition in Houston

Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade Kimmo Sasi opened the exhibition “Vikings: the North-Atlantic Saga” in Houston on 13 July, 2001, as a representative of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Minister Sasi visited Houston following discussions in Washington with U.S. foreign trade officials, and after attending the UN conference on illicit trade of small arms in New York.

The Viking exhibition that will be on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science through October 14, was developed by the Smithsonian Institute in cooperation with the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the state museums of the five Nordic countries. The exhibition, which was sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers and Volvo, first openened in Washington and has since traveled to New York and Denver. After Houston the exhibition will go to Los Angeles and Canada.

The opening of this major exhibition documenting the discovery of North -America by the Vikings one thousand years ago, was widely covered by the local media, and the museum expects the exhibition to attract great public interest. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is the fourth most visited museum in the United States.

The Nordic countries’ local representatives used the opening of the exhibition to promote modern-day issues in addition to the historical perspective provided by the exhibition. The Nordic consuls in Houston organized a dinner with Nordic cooperation as its theme. The Greater Houston Partnership, which is an umbrella organization for the local foreign trade chambers and associations, invited approximately 100 local business leaders to a breakfast meeting, where minister Sasi discussed issues of trade between Europe and the United States.

During his visit, Minister Sasi was also given presentations by CSO Aker Rauma and Wärtsilä, which operate in Houston. Mr. Sasi was presented with the Honorary Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador certificates for the State of Texas and the City of Houston.