The cultural legacy of Thor Heyerdahl

The Vestfold Museums continues to develop the cultural legacy of Thor Heyerdahl.

Thor Heyerdahls archives included in UNESCO`S world heritage list from 2011.

The Thor Heyerdahl Institute was established by Vestfold County Council in 1999.

It has received funding through the Norwegian State Budget since 2006, from Vestfold County Council and Larvik Municipality since establishment.

The institute is located in Larvik, the birthplace of Thor Heyerdahl.

It merged with the Vestfold Museums in 2020.

The Kon-Tiki Museum has collaborated with the Institute since 2002 (

The objective of the Thor Heyerdahl Institute is to promote knowledge about and to continue to develop Thor Heyerdahl`s research and development ideas within interdisciplinary research, international dialogue/multi-cultural collaboration, protecion of the global environment.

From 2002, the Institute has initiated and carried out a series of national, international, regional and local projects. It has accumulated a project portfolio over the course of many years and has gained experience from a variety of interdisciplinary activities in co-operation with universities, public administration departments and other organisations, embassies in Norway and abroad.

Key areas of focus are Thor Heyerdahl`s global efforts to protect and conserve the environment, his understanding for and ability to engage in dialogue between people from different cultures, his dissemination of information about global challenges, and his strong will to challenge people to debate across established scientific boundaries.

The projects and activities implemented by the Institute aim to be challenging, boundary breaking and bridge building.


Books, biographies and films


Thor Heyerdahl’s expeditions


International co-operation