Lawsuit can halt plans to tear down ‘Y-blokka’

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Opponents of plans to tear down a low-rise concrete building in Norway’s government complex, which was bombed by a right-wing extremist in 2011, have sued the state ministry in charge. They claim the state has refused to carry out a thorough process by failing to listen to their objections.

The plaintiffs include the state and local architects’ associations and several others hoping to preserve the ‘Y-blokka’ building that features a sandblasted mural drawn by Pablo Picasso. Their lawyer is the leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss Andersen.

She claims the government has not carried out a thorough process in which all opinions have been heard.  “The real decision for razing was taken in May 2014,” Andersen told newspaper Dagsavisen. “Objections after that haven’t had any influence. It’s important that the courts make an independent assessment of the legality of measures taken.”

It’s been nearly nine years since an ultra right-wing Norwegian bombed Norway’s government headquarters, killing eight people, and then gunned down hundreds more at a Labour Party summer camp on the island of Utøya. A total of 77 people were killed in the attacks on July 22, 2011 and the government complex has been in ruins ever since.

The government now wants to finally move forward with reconstruction efforts that include razing damaged buildings, including the one known as “Y-blokka” because it’s shaped like the letter Y. Its Picasso art will be preserved and remounted on a new high-rise at the site. staff