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'Like stepping into the future': Iceland PM tours human rights museum

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Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson tours the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Friday, before heading to Gimli to attend the Icelandic Festival.

MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson tours the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Friday, before heading to Gimli to attend the Icelandic Festival. Photo Store

Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson has started a week-long cultural tour in Manitoba and North Dakota.

Before travelling to Gimli for the annual Islendingadagurinn festival on the weekend, the 38-year-old leader kicked off his visit with a tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Friday morning.

The $351-million project is still a construction site, but Gunnlaugsson was impressed with what he saw and heard as he and other dignitaries walked through with museum CEO Stu Murray.

"The last time I was here, this was just a hole in the ground. (The museum) will be like stepping into the future. People will come here from all over the world to see it. They technology they’re using to show people all of the topics will be breaking new ground," he said.

Although most of Iceland’s ties to Manitoba are cultural, Gunnlaugsson would like to use them as a springboard to boost the economic relationship between the two. Both jurisdictions have strong agricultural, fisheries and energy industries as well as growing technological, pharmaceutical and engineering sectors.

"Those similarities offer a lot of opportunities to work together," he said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 2:33 PM CDT: Adds photo

3:39 PM: Adds video.

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