Object of the month: Decorative plate

Monthly Artifacts

This plate was a gift to the Municipality of Alta from Alta’s friendship town in Russia, Apatity.

Although the twinning of towns is an old tradition, (earliest recorded twinning was in 836 between Paderborn, Germany and Le Mans, France) the modern concept of town twinning developed after the Second World War. It was intended to foster friendship and peace between former enemies, and hopefully prevent future wars. Reading became the first British town after WW2 to “befriend” a former enemy town – Düsseldorf in Germany, in 1947.

In recent years, both the creation and termination of twinned towns has been used for political purposes. Most friendship town agreements persist, like that between Rome and Paris. Since 9. April 1956, they have been exclusively twinned with each other, under the motto: "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris."

Alta, on the other hand, considers itself worthy of having three twin towns: Apatity, Boden in Sweden and Oulu in Finland.


Anne Klippenvåg Pettersen