Norway Utøya memorial construction halted by lawsuit

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

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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