Press release | Date: 2017-06-21 | Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation
The government has decided that the national memorial in Hole after the terrorist attack of 22 July 2011 is to be located at the ferry pier Utøyakaia.“Utøyakaia was one of the most important places on that tragic day almost six years ago, and many people have powerful memories from there," says Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of Local Government and Modernisation. This means that there will be no memorial at Sørbråten.
Neighbours have protested against the previously agreed memorial site at Sørbråten. The National Support Group for victims of the 22 July attacks and the Labour Party’s youth organisation AUF wanted to calm the matter down and suggested earlier this year that the memorial could be established at Utøyakaia on the mainland in Hole.
“Along with Utøya and the government building, Utøyakaia was an important location on 22 July 2011. It was from here that the terrorist took the ferry to Utøya. And this is where young people arrived who managed to escape from the terrorist. They were brought safely ashore and assisted by helpers, volunteers and neighbours,” says Sanner.
Following the suggestion by the National Support Group and AUF, the Minister asked the state building agency Statsbygg to assess the suitability of Utøyakaia for the location of a national memorial. In a report submitted to the Minister on 15 June, Statsbygg concluded that the site would be suitable.
“Utøyakaia is well suited for the location of a national memorial. The site is close and connected to Utøya. A memorial there will be protected from noise, have less visibility than at Sørbråten and be close to water and green surroundings,” says Sanner.
This decision means that the plan for a memorial at Sørbråten will be cancelled. The work of art “Memory Wound” by Jonas Dahlberg was designed for Sørbråten and will not be realised.
There will be no new art contest for the design of a national memorial at Utøyakaia.
“We want the memorial at Utøyakaia to be respectful and low-key. Its aim should be to honour the victims, survivors, helpers and volunteers,” says Sanner.
Further work on the memorial sites
“In creating this new national memorial, we will place great emphasis on involving the people affected, Hole District Council and the local community and showing consideration for those living closest to the memorial," says Sanner.
Statsbygg will be asked to initiate a planning process and to start work on the design of the memorial at Utøyakaia. Statsbygg’s work will also involve consideration of various road safety measures along Road 155.
“The progress of the work will initially depend on how long the area planning process takes. We would like to have the memorial in place soon, but we also need a good process involving various considerations and many affected people,” says Sanner.
The original plan was for the memorials in Hole and in the government building to be linked and created by the same artist. Rock from the memorial site in Hole was to be used in both temporary and permanent memorials in the government building.
Since the memorial in Hole will now be moved to Utøyakaia, we will also start a new process to create a respectful, low-key memorial in the government building.
Sanner hopes that the decision to place the national memorial in Hole at Utøyakaia will create a calm atmosphere for the further work.
“There’s been a long process and much debate about the national memorial sites. Now I’d like to urge everyone to help close this debate in a respectful manner, so that we can have national memorials where we can grieve, miss our loved ones and unite in support of the values that were attacked on 22 July 2011,” says Sanner.
Link to the 22 July Centre
Sanner emphasises that a memorial at Utøyakaia will link the attack on the government building and the Utøya attack. It will also enhance the possibility of connecting the work at the 22 July Centre in the government building more closely to Utøya and the learning centre there.
The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation press line: 22 24 25 00