Norwegian court stops construction of Utøya tragedy memorial

Utøya memorialPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB
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The Ringerike District Court decided that the construction of the memorial site for the Utøya July 22 tragedy on Utøyakaia will be stopped temporarily, in line with the local residents’ wishes.

“The state and the Workers’ Youth League (Arbeidernes ungdomsfylking) are ordered to stop the construction of the memorial site for the Utøya tragedy.

This includes all infrastructure and all facilities related to the memorial site,” Ringerike District Court wrote in its ruling.

The state and AUF were also ordered to pay the plaintiffs’ costs of more than NOK 1 million.

Legal dispute

The dispute over the memorial site on Utøyakaia has been going on for several months. 

If the construction of the memorial is postponed, the price tag could end up being very high. 

The Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property (Statsbygg) has calculated that a postponement of construction on Utøyakaia for six months would cost NOK 52 million, while a delay of one year would cost NOK 72 million.

“A postponement of the construction will create major problems. In that case, we will not be able to finish the site in time for the tenth anniversary,” communications director Hege Njaa Aschim at Statsbygg told news bureau NTB on September 16.

Neighbors pressing charges

The construction work began in the Hole municipality August 3. The goal is for it to be ready for the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack next year.

A total of 16 neighbors to Utøyakaia are pressing charges – they want the construction stopped.

The neighbors who have filed a lawsuit want the memorial site to be built elsewhere. 

Several of them contributed to the rescue work during the terrorist attack on Utøya on July 22, 2011. 

They believe that a memorial site close to home would make them experience great psychological strain.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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