Oscarsborg, Høyblokken on preservation list

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Norway’s state agency in charge of historic preservation (Riksantikvaren) has targeted the historic fortress of Oscarsborg, the area around it and, farther up the fjord in Oslo, the government high-rise known as Høyblokken. All deserve to be protected and restored, claims Jørn Holme, Norway’s director for cultural heritage.

Holme wants the island where Oscarsborg sits in the Oslo Fjord to be formally protected as well as the area around it in the adjacent municipalities of Frogn, Vestby and Hurum, reported state broadcaster NRK. He also wants the formal protection of the areas in place by April 9th next year, the 74th anniversary of the German invasion of Norway, which was slowed down because a torpedo fired from the fortress sunk a large German battleship full of invading soldiers. That’s believed to have helped allow the Norwegian royal family to flee Oslo and, ultimately, set up a government in exile in London.

Holme’s Directorate for Cultural Heritage also wants to preserve the government high-rise that was damaged in a terrorist bombing on July 22, 2011. While some experts have recommended tearing it down and building anew, Holme wants to restore and protect the building that formerly housed the Office of the Prime Minister, calling it an “important symbol of the modern Norwegian welfare state after the war.”

He also called the high-rise “one of the best examples of monumental modernism in Norwegian architecture.” The building and its artwork “can’t be separated,” Holme said, claiming that its symbolic value rose after the bombing because it remained standing.

newsinenglish.no staff