58 years after the opening of the USA’s Embassy in downtown Oslo, the new, and controversial, embassy building was opened at Huseby on Thursday.
Construction of the new embassy building started in 2013, and was completed earlier this year. It was baptized by its staff already on May the 15th, and one month later four men in black presided over the official opening, with a cord cutting ceremony, and many teeth on display as broad smiles characterised the event.
In addition to Ambassador William Moser, Jim DeHart, chargé d’affaires at the embassy, participated in the ceremony, together with the Foreign Minister, Børge Brende (Høyre), and City Council leader, Raymond Johansen of Arbeiderpartiet (Ap).
Strong ties between the countries
‘Dear friends. It is not often that our close friends and allies open a new chancellery here in Oslo, so it’s a great honour to share this day with you’, said Brende in his opening speech.
He looked back to 1905 when the United States was one of the first countries to recognize Norway’s independence.
‘But the bonds between us are even older than that. They extend back to the founding fathers. Their ideas had a major influence on our constitution, which was signed on May the 17th, 1814’, said Brende, with a clear sense of gravitas and delivery of a message of extraordinary import.
Brende is powerfully impressed by the new embassy building, which was bought in 2005, in Husebyskogen, west of Oslo.
After an extensive process, the Supreme Court finally gave the green light to use of the location by the Embassy.
The decision to move to the new embassy building from the former location at Henrik Ibsens gate 48 was taken due to the downtown Oslo Embassy, designed by the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, no longer fulfilling safety requirements, and the needs of Oslo’s population.
‘I have been told that the copper roof will remind us of the peat roof of old farms, but it also reminds us of the green patina of the Statue of Liberty, which is made of copper from a Norwegian mine in the 1880s,’ said Brende.
The new embassy was designed by the international architectural office Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott Architecture & Engineering.
The Statue of Liberty was commissioned on Ellis Island, outside New York City, by a French Freemason named Edward Laboulaye, and was designed by another Frenchman, named Frederic Bartholdi, and inaugurated by high degree Freemasons in 1886.
It was based on the Roman Goddess, Libertas, who is syncretic with Babylonian Ishtar, and Sumerian goddess, Inanna. Though nominally dedicated to Liberty, all these goddesses were worshipped, sadly, by means of human sacrifice.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today