Norway: Reconstruction of government offices damaged by ultra-right terrorism
News server The Local reports that work began yesterday in the center of Oslo on demolishing and rebuilding a new headquarters for the Norwegian Government. The buildings were extensively damaged in July 2011 during a terrorist attack committed by ultra-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.
The Local reports that the plans to rebuild the government complex are the biggest, most expensive construction project in Norwegian history. The final form the new campus will take has not yet been decided.
According to the Norwegian Government, its new headquarters will include an information center dedicated to the assassinations committed on 22 July 2011. During his attack, Breivik exploded a bomb in the government district that cost eight people their lives.
Two hours later the ultra-right extremist shot dead 69 members of a Social Democratic Youth summer camp on the nearby island of Utöya. He is now serving a 21-year prison term which could be extended to a sentence of life in prison.
In the first phase of the ambitious project to rebuild the Norwegian Government headquarters, block S of the complex is to be completely demolished and then reconstructed. The demolition is planned for tomorrow and the entire first phase should be completed during the winter.
Passersby and tourists will have the opportunity to visit the building site while the work is underway to monitor its progress. Other parts of the complex such as block Y and block R4 are also slated for demolition, but the building called the Höyblokka (High Block) is to be preserved in its current form.
"The Höyblokka is an important part of our history that we want to preserve for the future," said Local and Regional Development Minister Jan Tore Sanner. The competition for the design of the new appearance of the government headquarters has no clear winner, but in December at least four and possibly as many as seven projects will be selected from the competition to inspire the Norwegian cabinet.
"For such a big project as a government headquarters, we need a broader range of ideas as to what the place should look like. The designs will be publicly exhibited so there can be a quality discussion of them," Sanner said.
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