The Kon-Tiki Museum is extremely popular at the moment. There were more than 10,000 hits on the Kon-Tiki name in digital media in January alone. A famous magazine, the Smithsonian Magazine, spent almost a week at the museum recently.
We have received more enquiries about exhibitions and talks both at home and abroad than ever before. Because of the huge interest in Kon-Tiki the museum is to undergo some upgrades so it can tell the sorry of the unique voyage across the Pacific Ocean in 1947 in a broader and more modern way than before. The biggest upgrade will be the restoration of the Kon-Tiki raft.
Kon-Tiki raft in line for a facelift
The actual Kon-Tiki raft, the crown jewel of the Kon-Tiki Museum, is sorely in need of work. The nine balsa logs the raft is made of and the cabin will be dismantled and reassembled with the aid of 3,000 metres of new rope since the old rope is decaying and almost falling apart.
Thor Heyerdahl's grandson, Olav Heyerdahl, who crossed the Pacific Ocean in 2006 on the balsa raft Tangaroa, is in charge of the work. Not only did he construct the Tangaroa raft, he also built the raft used in the new Kon-Tiki film. The Kon-Tiki exhibition will be less accessible for a period from 4 February onwards while the work takes place.
However, people will be able to follow the restoration work on the original Kon-Tiki while it is underway. This is the first time the Kon-Tiki raft will have been fully restored since the museum opened in 1950. It will be a unique experience for visitors. The work will take until around the school holidays this year. A special film will be available to the general public showing how the raft was originally constructed in 1947. And, of course, the original Kon-Tiki film that won an Oscar in 1951 will be shown in the museum's auditorium every day at 12.00.
Larger, more comprehensive Kon-Tiki exhibition
The main exhibition about the Kon-Tiki expedition will be larger and more comprehensive. Visitors will be able to get a better idea of what life was like for the six young men on board and the impact the expedition had around the world. There will also be a totally new exhibition for our youngest visitors.
Unique underwater exhibition
The museum will introduce a new way of depicting what life was like underneath the Kon-Tiki raft in the underwater exhibition. Here you will be able to experience that latest digital effects produced in cooperation with Fido, the Swedish company responsible for the underwater scenes in the new Kon-Tiki film.
The original Kon-Tiki movie is screened every day at 12.00 in the Kon-Tiki Museum, English, 67 minutes. The film is included in the entrance ticket.
The film is awailable in DVD and sold in the museum shop.