Plans to tear down the low-rise government building in Oslo known as Y-blokka, damaged in the terrorist bombing on July 22 2011, won’t be reversed. The state ministry in charge announced Thursday that the plans don’t defy any international conventions, and wrecking crews will start razing the building shortly after New Year.
Activists have long been demonstrating to preserve the building, which once was dubbed as among the ugliest in Oslo, but which also features murals drawn by Picasso and sandblasted on its walls by Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar. Now the state-owned company in charge of government property, Statsbygg, has received permission to tear down what many consider to be a cultural landmark.
Others support use of its central downtown location for one of the new highrises finally about to be built and re-built on the site of Norway’s longtime government complex that was both heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the bombing eight years ago. State officials have promised that Picasso’s and Nesjar’s art will be preserved and remounted on the new highrises that eventually will house government ministries at the site once again. They’ve been scattered around the city in leased quarters in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.
Protesters claim they’re not giving up, will attempt yet another appeal and have even promised civil disobedience to block the razing.