Lofoten village may be fenced off

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Nusfjord, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages, may soon be fenced off to the general public. Only local residents and tourists willing to pay an entrance fee will be allowed into the idyllic spot if its major property owner gets its way.

Access to the idyllic village of Nusfjord on Lofoten may be restricted by a new fence, but protests are pouring in. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

Access to the idyllic village of Nusfjord on Lofoten may be restricted by a new fence, but protests are pouring in. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

Nusfjord AS owns most of the properties in the village and has invested heavily in renovations since 2003. Its leader told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday that the company is forced to charge tourists in order to cover operating costs.

“The ticket income goes towards maintenance of the toilets, to pay for parking attendants and offer historic tours,” Roar Jacobsen of Nusfjord AS told business news website E24. Until now, tourists could choose whether to pay for entry. “Not everyone who comes here pays anything, and it will all be much easier if you have to have a ticket to come in.”

Plans thus call for construction of a 20-meter-long fence around the village that would be a meter-and-a-half high with a gate. Local residents would receive a code to unlock the gate, while others would need to pay NOK 50 (around USD 6).

Opposition has been swift, also from local residents who find it distasteful to restrict access to the village in such a manner. “When I heard that it would cost money to wander along a wharf in Lofoten, I got angry,” Wibeke Johansen, who was born and reared in Nusfjord, told NRK. She also thinks the fence would violate Norway’s open-air access regulations known as allemannsretten.

The mayor of the local municipality of Flakstad on Lofoten, Hans Fredrik Sørdahl, said officials want to ensure equal access for both locals and residents. Nusfjord’s proposal to build a fence has yet to come up for political debate at the municipal council.

“The right to free access is strong here, and it will be evaluated in relation to laws and regulations,” Sørdahl told NRK.

Jacobsen of Nusfjord, an architect who has spent the past 15 years rehabilitating the village’s old wooden buildings, said the fence would give the owners better control over ticket sales that generate the revenues needed to maintain and preserve the village.

“We’re proud over what we’ve accomplished here,” he said. “There’s a lot of work behind what Nusfjord is today.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

  • Geir Sivertzen

    We have been visiting, fishing and filming in Nusfjord the last few days. This is one of the most beautiful places on the coast of Norway. It is a living museum, with historical expositions, cinema and where you can experience the history of the cod fisheries, the coastal culture and the cod. I can not really understand what is the problem with paying $6 for the entrance to this best preserved fishing village of Norway, where so many millions of Norwegian kroner have been invested for the tourists the last 15 years

  • richard albert

    You may, or may not know of the howling and predictions of doom that came forth when this very website instituted (of necessity) a paywall.

    Stupid question of the day: What is the admission price to Euro Disney? How much does one pay to park one’s caravan in a dritt facility where the lort tilslutninger doesn’t work?

    How much is a lukewarm bottle of piss in an Oslo restaurant?

    With you 200% Geir. The best things in life are only free when somebody else pays.