The preservation of heritage sites is a necessary and untended component of developing tourism in Iceland, according to director general of the Icelandic Tourist Board Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir. Widely, archaeological remains are at risk due to abrasion and erosion.
Sites where archaeological remains have been excavated have proven an attraction for native and foreign tourists, and they include great opportunities, Ólöf reasoned to Fréttablaðið.
“Nature still has the most attraction but culture, in a broad sense, is gaining popularity. Tourists are constantly seeking new experiences and not least the interplay between daily life and nature through centuries,” Ólöf stated.
“Strategic development of tourism related to cultural values like archaeological remains plays a big part in that context,” she added.
Director of the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland Kristín Huld Sigurðardóttir said more funding is necessary for the preservation of heritage sites.
She mentioned Skriðuklaustur, the site of a medieval cloister in East Iceland, as a successful project.
Archaeological remains around the country are at risk of disappearing or being damaged before they have been studied due to abrasion and erosion.
Among them is a graveyard from the 13th century by the farm Akrabraut in Rangárvallasýsla, South Iceland.
“The bones are lying in between rocks. Immediate action must be taken to protect the relics or study them before it is too late. We need funding; it’s as simple as that,” archaeologist and adjunct at Hólar University Ragnheiður Traustadóttir told Fréttablaðið.