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OFFBEAT

Tailfin trauma for Norwegian as dead black metal star leads poll

A picture of murdered black metal musician Øystein Aarseth could soon grace the tailfin of a Norwegian airline plane, as the controversial guitarist leads an online poll just a day before voting closes.

Tailfin trauma for Norwegian as dead black metal star leads poll
Photo: Hans Olav Nyborg/Mayhem

Backed by legions of international fans, the former Mayhem guitarist has rocketed past the chasing pack in the Oslo section of the poll, leaving the more sedate candidates proposed by the airline’s own committee trailing in his wake.  

Norwegian launched the campaign to celebrate its first ten years in the air. Seeking a tailfin hero of whom Norwegians could be proud, the airline has allowed voters to nominate their own heroes. However, it suggested they opt for one of the candidates put forward by the committee: marathon runner Grete Waitz, actress Wenche Foss, or ex-Prime Minister Einar Gerhardsen.

To qualify for a place on the tailfin, candidates need to have come from the Oslo region, excelled in their respective fields and inspired others.

A leading figure in a black metal scene notorious in the 1990s for church burnings and vicious in-fighting, Aarseth died in 1993 at the age of 25 after being stabbed 23 times by his erstwhile understudy and bandmate Varg Vikernes.

Known also as Euronymous, Aarseth had previously earned notoriety for allegedly taking photos of Mayhem member Per “Dead” Ohlin immediately after his gory suicide in 1991, before making necklaces from pieces of the ex-vocalist’s skull.

With voting set to close on March 28th, the relentless clicks of black metal fans the world over have propelled Aarseth into first place.

Once the deadline arrives, a jury appointed by the airline will sift through the five nominees with the highest number of votes.

Norwegian spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told newspaper Aftenposten it was “too early to say” if Aarseth fulfilled the necessary criteria.

But according to Svein Egil Hatlevik, who nominated the Mayhem guitarist, there can be little doubt that Euronymous fits the bill.

“It would be sad if they didn’t want to recognize the contribution to Norwegian culture provided by Aarseth over the course of his short life,” Hatlevik told the newspaper.

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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