July 22nd national memorial in Oslo

July 22nd utøya government quarterLeader of support group, Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, AUF leader Mani Hussaini and Prime Minister Erna Solberg during the marking. On Saturday the sixth anniversary of July 22nd was marked outside the Government Quarter. It was speeches made by AUF leader Mani Hussaini, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Government Quarter Representative in the National Support Group for the July 22nd victims, Tor-Inge Kristoffersen. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Memorial over July 22nd attacks unveils in Oslo

On Sunday, a temporary national memorial for the July 22nd terrorist attacks will be unveiled – long awaited for, says the leader of the support group for the victims.


It has been seven years since the terrorist attacks in the Government quarter in Oslo and at the Norwegian Young Labour (AUF) summer camp on Utøya, where 77 persons, mostly youngsters, were killed.

– We have waited a long time for this. It has been seven years since the attacks, and finally, we have a National Memorial in place. It is very much appreciated, says Leader of the Support Group for the July 22nd victims, Lisbeth Røyneland.

She herself lost her daughter in the attack on Utøya.

The memorial is placed at Johan Nygaardsvold’s place at the “High Rise” (Høyblokka). It consists of a wall with all the names and ages of the victims on it, as well as a “floor” made from drummed glass. The shards of glass symbolize all the broken glass in the areas surrounding the Government quarter after the terrorist bomb went off.

Embedded in the memorial are the linden trees at the High Rise, which withstood the explosion of the bomb in 2011.


Røyneland saw the memorial during a visit together with The Norwegian State Builders (Statsbygg) a few days ago.

– It was not quite finished then, but I got a very good impression of how it is going to look like, says Røyneland.

She hopes the memorial will be well received at the unveiling on Sunday, which takes place during the annual marking of the terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik.

– Statsbygg has published press releases with sketches, and there have been no discussions surrounding these. What’s so nice with this memorial is that all the parents have agreed that the names of all the victims are included, says Røyneland, who thinks many are anxious to see the finished result.

– There are many of those who are left behind and otherwise affected, coming to the Government quarter, that has usually gone to Utøya only, she says.

The Leader of the Support Group is advocating using the memorial in education.

– We are keen to tell the story. This gives a direct link to the memorial at Utøya and the learning centre there, she says.

Inflamed discussion

The memorials after the terrorist attacks in 2011 has lead to fierce debates and inflamed discussions. In 2013, the Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg won the competition to design both the temporary and eventually permanent memorials in the Government quarter, as well as the remembrance site at Sørbråten vis-à-vis Utøya in the Hole municipality.

Dahlberg, however, lost the assignment in June 2017. The Government then decided to halt Dahlgren’s controversial proposal for a memorial site at Sørbråtet after a prolonged conflict with the neighbours. They felt that Dahlberg’s proposal, which involved cutting a headland in two, was too brutal, interfering and re-traumatizing. The neighbours even sued the Government to put an end to it.

In November 2017 it became apparent that 3RW architects, who are also behind the final memorial site at Utøya, were commissioned by Statsbygg to design the memorial that will be unveiled on July 22nd.

Røyneland says it has at times been difficult to cope with the discussions surrounding the memorials.

– I’m glad that it is resolved. Even though it is temporary, it’s good to have a place to go to, she says.

Facts about the terror attacks on July 22nd

  • 77 people were killed and around 90 injured in the terrorist attacks on the Government quarter in Oslo and at AUFs summer camp on Utøya on July 22nd, 2011. Utøya is located in the Tyrifjorden Lake in Buskerud.
  • 69 youngsters were killed in the mass shooting on Utøya. 60 were injured.
  • 8 persons were killed by the bomb explosion in the Government quarter. Around 30 were injured.
  • The 950 kgs homemade bomb did extensive damage to several of the Government buildings.
  • The extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who in 2017 changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, has been sentenced to 21 years in preventive detention for the attacks. This is the strongest sentencing possible under Norwegian law.

Facts about the temporary memorial for July 22nd

  • In November 2017, 3W architects were commissioned by Statsbygg to design the temporary memorial in the Government quarter. They are also behind the remembrance site of Utøya.
  • On December 20 last year, Statsbygg presented the first draft for the memorial.
  • On January 16th, 2018, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, headed by Cabinet Minister Jan Tore Sanner (Conservatives), approved the building of the temporary memorial in the Government quarter.
  • The temporary memorial is situated at Johan Nygaardsvold’s square, adjacent to Lindealléen.
  • The memorial consists of a wall with the name and age of the victims and a glass floor that symbolizes all the broken glass in the Government quarter after the bomb went off on July 22nd. The linden trees in the Government quarter are embedded in the memorial. The trees withstood the force from the explosion.
  • The memorial will be available around the clock. It has been facilitated for remembrance.
  • The Government quarter will be a construction site for several years to come, something that has been taken into account in the design.

Facts about the markings on July 22nd, 2018

  • The official opening of the temporary national monument in the Government quarter outside the High Rise at 9:30. Reading the names of the victims out loud.
  • Tor-Inge Kristoffersen in the National Support Group for the victims of July 22nd Wreath ceremony and speeches are held by Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives), AUF leader Mani Hussaini and leader of the support group, Lisbeth Røyneland.
  • Memory service in the Oslo Cathedral at 11:00.
  • At 16:00 the marking starts at Utøya.
  • Speeches by the Leader of the National Support Group, Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, AUF leader Mani Hussaini and the Labor Party leader, Jonas Gahr Støre
  • Around 16:45 at the quayside: Readings of names, wreath ceremony with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Jonas Gahr Støre, Mani Hussaini and Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland participating.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today