Rodent alarm at City Hall

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UPDATED: Amidst all the drama leading up to Friday’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 at Oslo’s City Hall to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo came a bit more unexpected action on Thursday afternoon.

Crews preparing the grand lobby of the Oslo City Hall for the annual award ceremony had to set up more than just chairs and flower arrangement: Dozens of mousetraps.

The scurry of activity came after either a mouse or a rat was spotted behind some cables in a room not far from the area where the ceremony will take place and be broadcast live around the world, except in China, where it’s being censored.

“I was, to put it mildly, surprised when I heard about this,” City Hall manager Bjørn Risvik told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). He said there’s been no trouble with rodents in City Hall earlier.

“We hope we can get control over the situation during the night, so it won’t disturb the ceremony,” Risvik said. It didn’t: Nobel events went as planned and a check of the traps Friday morning showed a catch of two critters, one of them apparently a rat.

Asked whether he suspected Chinese authorities of being behind the sudden rodent alarm, Risvik laughed and said “not at all. It’s probably more a case of smelling food,” or perhaps the critter just wanting to come in from the cold.

Views and News staff