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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Activists link arms to protect forest

Around 40 environmental activists gathered in the forest at Ekeberg in Oslo this week, ready to face off against work crews they fear will chop down trees to make room for a controversial new sculpture park. There was no confrontation, however, at least not yet.

Protests had begun over the weekend, when jazz singer Silje Nergaard was among those performing and making pleas to preserve what’s known as Ekebergskogen. They’re committed to “stopping the bulldozers and chainsaws,” according to one of the protest organizers, Hilde Charlotte Blomberg. “We want to protect the forest,” she told newspaper Dagsavisen.

The activists returned early Monday morning, but ended up simply linking arms and forming a circle around many of the trees. They criticize city officials’ handling of real estate developer Christian Ringnes’ plans to create a park featuring sculptures of women. Ringnes also owns the nearby Ekeberg Restaurant that’s perched on a hill just below the Ekeberg plateau.

The group intends to remain vigilant to guard against tree-cutting until their appeal to city approval is reviewed by county authorities. Ringnes plans to open the park next year.

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