15 Dec 2011

South Pole conquest hailed

9:21 am on 15 December 2011

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and several hundred scientists have gathered at the South Pole to celebrate its conquest 100 years ago.

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and the four members of his team were the first to arrive there on 14 December, 1911.

They planted a Norwegian flag at the pole to mark their victory over Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Royal Navy, who would perish on the return journey.

"We are here to celebrate one of the most outstanding achievements of mankind," Mr Stoltenberg said, according to a copy of his remarks provided by his office.

Like Amundsen before him, he planted a Norwegian flag in the ice and also unveiled an ice sculpture of his famous compatriot.

Captain Scott and his team were not forgotten.

"Scott and his team paid the ultimate price ... Their names will forever be inscribed in Polar history," Mr Stoltenberg said.

After reaching the pole more than a month after the Norwegian expedition, Captain Scott and four others died on their return journey.