Debate over government complex enters new phase

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A report on how Norway’s bombed-out government headquarters could  be rebuilt has passed a quality-control check and been redelivered to the ministry in charge of such projects, now under new political leadership after the last election. It remains unclear whether the main high-rise will be torn down or re-used as the anchor of a rebuilt ministerial complex.

Hundreds showed up for a memorial ceremony amidst the damaged buildings of Norway's government complex on Sunday morning. Norwegians gathered all over the country for similar memorials on the first anniversary of last year's attacks by a young Norwegian man who wants to halt immigration and blames the government and Labour Party for Norway's emerging multi-cultural society. PHOTO: Views and News

Interest remains high in what will happen to the government buildings damaged by a lone terrorist’s bomb on July 22, 2011. It doesn’t look like a decision will be made any time soon. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

It’s already been more than two-and-a-half years since a lone Norwegian gunman bombed Norway’s former left-center government and then massacred young Labour Party members attending an annual summer camp. The rubble has since been cleared but now Norway’s new Conservatives-led government must propose whether to tear down the buildings still standing and start fresh, or let some or all stand as a monument to the post-war architecture they represent and a message that the terrorist didn’t succeed at bringing them down himself.

Fully eight out of 10 architects in Norway want to preserve the complex, especially the high-rise that once housed Norway’s justice ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister. Other construction experts confirmed on Monday that it may be much more expensive to do so, and not only cheaper but more efficient to start fresh.

Jan Tore Sanner, the new minister from the Conservatives responsible for finally making a decision, indicated that it likely will still take a while. He wants continued involvement from conservation and historical experts, the City of Oslo, professional groups and others. “This is a decision that will affect generations,” he said. It’s not likely he or his government colleagues will take a stand any time soon.

newsinenglish.no staff