Anniversy of south pole feat celebrated

Dec. 14, 2011 at 8:56 PM

OSLO, Norway, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Norway's prime minister observed the 100th anniversary of explorer Roald Amundsen's expedition to the south pole with a ceremony at the pole.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg paid tribute to "one of the most outstanding achievements of mankind" as he unveiled an ice bust of Amundsen at the U.S. scientific base station Amundsen Scott Wednesday, the BBC reported.

Dozens of scientists and explorers joined Stoltenberg, who said the commemorations aimed "to highlight the importance of this cold continent in our efforts to understand the warming of the globe."

Amundsen's polar expeditions "helped to form our new national identity," he said, noting Amundsen's arrival at the pole Dec. 14, 1911, came just six years after Norway had declared independence after a long union with Sweden.

Amundsen and his team displayed the same qualities "that the young nation wanted to be recognized by: courage, determination and endurance," the prime minister said.

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