Chastened Oslo officials have shifted into reverse and will allow an exhibition of vintage American cars in the city’s Frogner Park this summer after all. They’d earlier banned the annual event, which clashed with Oslo’s efforts to restrict car use, but caved in to criticism.
Even the leader of the local Labour Party, which leads Oslo’s city government, had complained that over-zealous city bureaucrats had “made fools of themselves” by preventing the AMCAR exhibition that’s long been part of the traditional American Independence Day celebration in the park. It’s scheduled for June 28 this year.
Catching most of the heat was the city department in charge of, among other things, parks and the environment (Bymiljøetaten). It had claimed the cars could damage the park’s lawns, which are meant “for people, not cars.” Now they’ve decided that 25 vintage American cars can be parked on gravel roads in the park. Any additional cars will be relegated to an adjacent parking lot.
“I want to praise the City of Oslo officials who came to their senses,” Morten Stordalen of Labour’s arch-rival Progress Party told news bureau NTB. The classic cars have been touted as an important part of American culture and event organizers were glad the traditional exhibition could proceed as planned.