Construction of the permanent 22 July Centre is beginning now

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The 22 July Centre is returning to the Cabinet Building in the Government Quarter. Statsbygg has been tasked with building the permanent centre, which will be completed in 2025.

“The 22 July Centre undertakes extremely important work when it comes to disseminating knowledge of the terrorist attacks in the Government Quarter and on Utøya. In the future, it will be important to ensure that we can both remember and learn about 22 July in one of the places where the terrorist attacks actually took place,” says Tonje Brenna (L), Minister of Education.

The 22 July Centre was initially launched in 2015 at the Cabinet Building Since then, more than 225,000 people have visited the centre and close to 3,000 school classes and other groups have been taught.

“We have reached an important milestone in the journey back to where the centre belongs: In the Cabinet Building in the Government Quarter. The 22 July Centre is important for ensuring that we do not forget those who lost their lives, to teach future generations about what happened and to promote our democracy,” says Lisbeth Røyneland, head of the 22 July Support Group.

Important for learning from history

The new centre will span 2,000 square metres and will be more than three times as large as the current temporary centre. An important aspect of the work when the permanent centre reopens will be to welcome school classes and the new, larger premises will increase capacity for this purpose.

“The fact that school pupils and others from around the entire country can visit the 22 July Centre and look at the visible traces with their own eyes and discuss and learn from history is crucial in preventing conspiracy theories and hatred from developing. The Workers’ Youth League and the support group have worked together for many years to preserve traces and have lobbied to keep the 22 July Centre in the Government Quarter, precisely because it constitutes an important contribution to the fight against extremism,” says Astrid Home, Leader of the Workers’ Youth League.

In the 2022 budget, the Storting has adopted a total budget of NOK 565 million for the project. This includes money for new exhibitions. A starting allocation of NOK 102.7 million has been awarded for 2022.

New lower ground floor provides more space

“The construction of a permanent, physical centre starts now. But I also want to emphasise how important it is for those who were affected, those who lost loved ones and those who survived to continue to tell and share their stories from 22 July and the time since. Your stories provide valuable content for the 22 July Centre and the collaboration with the Youth Workers’ League and the support group will therefore also be important aspects going forward,” says Brenna (L).

Most of the former premises of the 22 July Centre will be preserved, so that as many traces of the attack as possible are preserved and made available to future generations. For reasons of security, the centre is unable to use the areas immediately below the ministerial premises at the Cabinet Building as it did before. It has been decided that the centre will have a dedicated entrance through an external entrance pavilion. A new lower ground floor is therefore being constructed, which will provide additional exhibition space, auditoriums and facilities for the general public.

Due to the ongoing work on the new Government Quarter, the centre had to move to temporary premises on Teatergata during the summer of 2020 and will remain there during the construction period.