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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Memorials chosen for July 22 attacks

The Norwegian jury evaluating proposals for memorials to the terrorist attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011 has chosen a Swedish artist’s concept for both the island of Utøya, where 69 people were gunned down, and downtown Oslo, where the government’s headquarters was bombed. The design chosen for Utøya is meant to symbolize an eternal scar in the nature.

Swedish artist Johan Dahlberg's design for a memorial to the terrorist attacks on the island of Utøya symbolizes a permanent scar on the landscape. PHOTO: KORO
Swedish artist Johan Dahlberg’s design for a memorial to the terrorist attacks on the island of Utøya symbolizes a permanent scar on the landscape. PHOTO: KORO

Jonas Dahlberg was awarded the job of forming the memorials, which will include both temporary and permanent memorials in downtown Oslo. That’s because it remains unclear how the bombed-out area will eventually be rebuilt.

The jury consisted of representatives from both the government (Bente Erichsen, who also heads the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo) and the Labour Party’s youth organization AUF (Mari Aaby West). Both were the targets of the lone Norwegian bomber and gunman, who has claimed he carried out the attacks because he was trying to stop the government and the next generation of Labour Party politicians from further liberalizing immigration in Norway.

The attacks killed a total of 77 people and the ultra right-wing terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, is serving what likely will be a life sentence in prison.

The mourning goes on for the victims of the attacks three years later, and memorials already have been raised in many of their various hometowns. Now the national monuments will be mounted at both places where they were carried out.

Dahlberg’s designs were unanimously chosen because the jury believed they create a physical impression “that something has been taken away.” His design for Utøya thus reflects “in a brutal and concrete manner,” according to the jury, the loss of those who died on Utøya.

The dirt and rocks that will be removed from a portion of the island called Sørbråten will then be used as the foundation for both the temporary and permanent memorials in Oslo.

The designs of all proposed memorials are on display at the Oslo City Hall. Berglund



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