The Swedish-Finnish-Swiss International Geophysical Year station Kinnvika in Northeast Svalbard has now been legally protected by the Riksantikvaren - Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway. The protection includes all the 10 buildings and covers the interiors, exteriors and fixed furniture. Other loose artifacts which are connected to the original IGY activity 1957-58 and the continuation in 1959 are also included. Outside installations, objects, artifacts and other traces of the original activity are also protected. These include a weasel and sledges. In addition a large area around the research station is included in order to protect the integrity of the site.
This is the second protection order according to the Environmental Law for Svalbard on cultural heritage established after 1946. The first concerned the aerial transport system for coal from the mines to the transport centre in Longyearbyen took effect in 2003.
Kinnvika is situated in the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, which limits the activities which may take place in the area. However, the 4th International Polar Year created a new wave of enthusiasm for research using Kinnvika station as a base and it was thus felt necessary for the cultural heritage authorities to have better control over the use of the station.