Flowers to remain over the weekend

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City officials in Oslo have said they’ll let all the huge floral memorials that have sprung up all over town lie where they are until next week. And then they’ll “take good care” of the symbols of grief laid down with the flowers.

Flowers have been laid all over Oslo, and will remain until next week. PHOTO: VIews and News

The flowers started piling up outside the Oslo Cathedral last Saturday, the day after a lone Norwegian bomber and gunman attacked government headquarters in the capital and then the Labour Party’s youth organization at their summer camp. He killed a total of 76 persons within about three hours.

By Sunday the flowers in front of the cathedral were turning into a huge mound, and other displays were popping up elsewhere. On Monday night, nearly half the city’s entire population participated in a grassroots memorial ceremony and then used the roses they were carrying to decorate their city. Flowers have been left on and around statues, tucked into street signs, made to form hearts on the grounds of the Royal Palace and generally adorned public buildings, streets and sidewalks.

But now many of the flowers are wilting and will need to be cleaned up. Instead of using bulldozers, tough, city official have said that public employees will pick them all up by hand and they’ll be used to make compost.

All the signs, photos, flags, stuffed animals and other tokens of sympathy and grief will be picked up as well and turned over to a city archive that collects historical items. “We’ll take good care of everything,” said Stian Berger Røsland, who leads the Oslo city government.

Views and News staff