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Norwegian Language Council: Decision to rename street in Bergen after Kim Friele made too early

Photo: GAD / Wiki Commons (CC BY-SA 1.0)

The Language Council believes it is too early to name a street in honor of recently passed gay rights activist Kim Friele.

Bergen municipality renames street, Language Council says it violates naming principle

The Language Council has spoken out against the renaming of a street in Bergen after the late gay rights activist, Kim Friele. Bergen Municipality has decided to name either a street in honor of Friele, who passed away last year.

The Language Council, however, wrote a letter to the Bergen municipality, published by the newspaper Bergens Tidende, explaining that it is opposed to the honor as it violates the naming principle. The Council states that is precedent that such namings normally take place between 5 to 10 years after a person has passed away.

Daniel Gusfre Ims, section chief at the Language Council, states that there are several reasons for the delay in such namings. According to Ims, allowing such a short time to elapse when naming allows it “to be used politically, and other conditions can also emerge after the person has died.” He also spoke of the emotional connection (of surviving family members and friends) being respected. This, he said, is only Language Council precedent and, of course, exceptions can be made.

Bergen City Council will ignore advice anyway

The Bergen City Council has said that though it understands the advice from the Language Council, it will ignore them and honor Kim Friele. Thor Håkon Bakke, Urban Development Councilor (MDG), said that they were good reasons to ignore the advice as Friele had been an important influence and inspiration to many.

The Council hasn’t decided which street, road, or plaza to rename in Friele’s honor but it will happen soon, Bakke explained. Calls have also been made to rename a central Oslo square in Friele’s honor. Friele has already been honored with a “Blue Plaque” by The Society for Oslo Byes Vel.

Friele died aged 86 on November 22, 2021.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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