Norway Utøya memorial construction halted by lawsuit

Legal action by local residents has resulted in suspension of work to install a memorial to the victims of the 2011 terrorist attack on the island of Utøya.

Norway Utøya memorial construction halted by lawsuit
Utøya pictured in 2017. File photo: AFP

The district court in Ringerike Municipality has ordered the state and AUF, the youth wing of the Norwegian Labour Party, to temporarily stop work on the memorial, newswire NTB reports.

The memorial is to the victims of the July 22nd, 2011 attack by right wing terrorist Anders Breivik, which targeted an AUF summer camp on Utøya as well as Oslo’s Government Quarter.

Local residents have filed a case demanding construction of the memorial be permanently blocked. The case will come before court on November 30th with construction now suspended in the meantime.

The memorial design is for 77 three-metre tall bronze pillars, representing the 77 victims of the attack on Utøya and in Oslo.

A number of local residents filed the lawsuit against the Norwegian state and AUF.

A report presented under proceedings to stop the construction work stated that 17 of 18 neighbours to the memorial site risked health consequences as a result of the work.

Digging and the memorial itself could result in mental health damage in five cases, according to the report.

The court statement noted that a number of the complainants had been severely affected by the attack itself.

AUF has said it is disappointed over the suspension of the work but plans to appeal and hopes the memorial will be completed by July 2021, which will see the ten-year anniversary of the attack.

READ ALSO: Norway unveils Utøya monument on day of remembrance

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 
Oslo Operahus .Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Only one in ten Norwegians plan to travel abroad this summer 

Around ten percent of people in Norway are planning to take a holiday abroad this summer, according to a survey carried out by tourism organisation NHO Reiseliv.

Seven out of ten respondents said they still plan to holiday in Norway this year, even if they receive a vaccination before the holidays start.

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Viken and Vestland are this year’s most popular travel destinations for Norwegians planning a “staycation”. Young people were the most likely to want to remain in Norway this summer. Just under half of those aged between 18 and 29 said they wished to stay in Norway this summer. 

Third of Utøya survivors have received abuse or threats

A third of Utøya survivors have been victims of hate speech or received threats, according to a new survey. 

Three-quarters of respondents said that the reason they received the abuse was linked directly to the Utøya terror attack, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Studies (NKVTS) found. 

The massacre on Utøya was the second of two terror attacks carried out by Anders Breivik on July 22nd, 2011. Of the 69 people who died in the attack, 32 were under the age of 18. 

Fewer in Oslo willing to ditch cars 

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READ ALSO: Could Norway introduce mandatory inbuilt car breathalysers 

When asked whether Oslo City Council had gone too far in removing cars from the city centre, almost half said that they believed that this was the case. 

“A change in the attitude around these measures may be due to more people feeling dependent on cars during the pandemic. There has been a lot of debate about measures that have been introduced or are planned to be introduced,” Heidi Sørensen, Director of the Climate Agency, told the Dagsavisen newspaper

Tighter Coronavirus measures in Trondheim 

Gyms, museums and swimming pools have been closed, and alcohol service in hospitality has been stopped in Trondheim. The new measures come barely a week after restrictions were last tightened. 

“We need to shut down most of Trondheim to get control. It is only days since we last tightened measures, but we are in a situation where we must take even stronger action,” Morten Wolden, the municipal director for Trondheim, told state broadcaster NRK.

Norway reports 292 new Covid-19 cases

On Monday, 292 new coronavirus infections were registered in Norway. This is a drop of 52 compared to the seven-day average of 344. 

In Oslo, 48 cases were recorded, an increase of two on the capital’s seven day average of 46. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected, will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases so far. Source: NIPH