Controversial Utøya memorial to be rethought

Norway's government said Wednesday that a controversial memorial for the victims of Anders Behring Breivik's 2011 terrorist attack would be rethought, in order to avoid an embarrassing lawsuit by local residents.

The planned memorial, entitled "Memory Wound", would have seen a wide slit cut into a strip of land near the island of Utøya where most of Breivik's 77 victims were killed - writes the local.

The project was generally approved of aesthetically, but about 20 locals, some of whom helped save lives during the massacre, sued the state to block the project, arguing it would harm the local community and landscape.

They saw the planned memorial as too invasive and too close to their homes.

In order to appease critics, Norway's Minister of Communal Affairs and Modernisation, Jan Tore Sanner, said Wednesday the project would be abandoned, and another as-yet undecided memorial would be raised on the dock where the ferry to Utøya departs.

"We have several years of debate behind us about where to place the national memorial," Sanner told a press conference.

"We hope to now be able to put a dignified end to this debate."

While the government's decision puts an end to the lawsuit, it is not certain that all of the locals will approve of the new project.

"Think of the people who will now have a memorial in their backyard," the lawyer for some of the ex-plaintiffs, Harald Stabell, told AFP.

"Imagine living with a memorial every day, when they themselves helped save some of the youngsters," he said.

Utøya was the scene of Breivik's gun rampage on July 22nd, 2011.

Disguised as a policeman, he spent more than an hour shooting at hundreds of people, most of them teenagers, gathered for a summer camp organised by the Labour Party's youth wing, killing 69 of them.

He had earlier killed eight others by blowing up a bomb outside a government building in Oslo.

The 38-year-old right-wing extremist, who recently changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, is serving a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely.

Read other news on the city site of Oslo.

utøya breivik
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Oslo finds itself in the bottom ten, at number 49 out of the 56 cities ranked. Elsewhere, Belfast tops the list of best urban cities for digital nomads. Recent analysis by online home rental company  Spotahome has standardised the latest city and country-level data available* for categories such as internet speed, the number of co-working spaces, apartment rental prices and migrant acceptance to determine which urban cities are best-suited for digital noma...
Thousands of Norwegians are organized and preparing for a possible doomsday scenario. NRK publishes a documentary about doomsday preppers in Norway. Michel van Coevorden is one of thousands of members on survivalist Facebook group. He is 52 years old and from the Netherlands. He has lived in Norway for almost 20 years, and has been preparing for the worst possible scenarios. His motivation is that the world has become more dangerous place and the governmen...
Two Lithuanian citizens have been sentenced in Stavanger District Court to two years, and one year and two months in prison, for so-called ‘black work’ (moonlighting) for which they didn’t pay tax.   The two men, aged 30 and 31, have had positions as general manager and owner of several construction companies in the district. The youngest of them acknowledged a penalty for everything and received the shortest sentence. The other admitted partial guilt said...
Ferde repays several million after toll scandal A technical error in the North Jæren toll system has led to many motorists being billed too much in the peak hours. Tens of millions will be repaid to the victims, and the peak hour fee is put on hold.   Motorists on North Jæren are furious about the toll station wall surrounding all urban hubs. Now it turns out that they have been overbilled for the peak hour fee. According to the Steering Group for the ”Urb...
Nearly 8000 foreigners took the Norwegian test Nearly 8000 immigrants can have a well-deserved break after completing the last Norwegian examinations of the year. The test is becoming increasingly important.   – Norwegian language skills open the door to integration, education and jobs, says Director in Competence Norway, Gina Lund. The Norwegian test has gained an increasing role, and is, among other things, entry conditions for both residence permits and...
Judgement day for Janne Jemtland’s husband The prosecutor wants the husband of Janne Jemtland behind bars for 18 years for the murder of his spouse. He, however, demands an acquittal. The sentencing is due on Monday morning.   At 10 am on Monday, District Court Judge, Trond Christoffersen, calls for order in court for the last time in the Janne Jemtland case. The Hedmark District Court will then provide an answer to the question that everyone asked before...
The man charged with sending a bomb to the police in Ski has been in conflict with them for a long time. He denies having anything to do with the bomb.   When he was detained for four weeks on Saturday, the man appealed the decision on the spot. His lawyer, John Christian Elden, told VG newspaper that his client does not acknowledge having sent the package containing the bomb. “The basis for imprisonment is primarily the risk that there may have been other...
In Norway, there are far more believers than in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, according to a new survey.   According to the study by the independent American think-tank Pew Research Center, 17 per cent of Norway’s citizens are strong believers. The same is true for 8 per cent of Danes, 10 per cent of Swedes and 13 per cent of Finns. In the survey, the degree of religiosity is measured in all the European countries. Romania is at the top with 55 per cent st...
PST investigate threats against Minister of Justice, Wara The Special Branch (PST) investigates serious threats to Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara (Progress Party). His house and car have been tagged, and his car may have been attempted to be ignited.   – We have started investigating threats against Government officials this afternoon. We are in an initial phase of the investigation. There are aspects of the matter that make us look very seriously at it,...