The National Museum of Iceland was founded February 24th 1863. Until that time cultural artifacts had been preserved in Danish museums. The National Museum is dedicated to communicating knowledge of Iceland's cultural heritage from the time of its pioneering settlement in 874 to the present day. The decision to build a museum in Iceland was taken by Althingi in 1944. 1998 saw the beginning of extensive repairs and construction work. Six years later, in September 2004, the Museum reopened with a renewed purpose as the national center for conservation and research of Iceland's history. New state of the art galleries for more than 2,000 national treasures have been combined with conceptual exhibits and never before seen artifacts to make the National Museum a source of inspiration and discovery. The minisheet issued on this occasion features a brooch dating back to the 11th century, a statue of Thor from the 10th century and a sword from the same period.