Jón Baldvin and Einar Benediktsson

On August 27th, we had a formal reception at Víkingaheimar for Dr. Fitzhugh of the Smithsonian. Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, who was the Icelandic Ambassador to the US when the Viking exhibition opened at the Smithsonian, and Einar Benediktsson, who was the head of the Leifur Eiriksson Millennium Commission of Iceland which helped coordinate our exhibition, both attended the reception.

The evening was really lovely, because many of us had known each other and worked together before, and also everyone is still really pleased with how well the millennium events came together a decade ago. It was hard work, and it had lasting, if somewhat intangible, dividends.

I was reminded though of just how interconnected everyone is here in Iceland, when Einar Ben referred to Jón Baldvin as "my former foreign minister". I had forgotten that when Einar was Ambassador to the US in the 90s, Jón had been the Foreign Minister of Iceland.

Icelanders I think become very adept at relating to one another through a variety of changing roles and statuses. In fact I think they rather enjoy it, and do not feel they really know someone, unless they have seen them wearing more than one hat.


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