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Norway divided on massacre memorial

Four years after the terrorist attacks in Norway in which 77 people died, the country is still debating how best to commemorate the victims of the massacre on the island of Utøya and the car bomb in Oslo. Many of those killed by Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right extremist, were teenagers attending a youth camp on the island.

A memorial designed by the Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg on the Sørbråten peninsula, which faces Utøya, was originally due for completion in July, but construction has not even begun. Dahlberg’s design calls for a slice of the peninsula to be cut out, like “an open wound”.

Earlier this year, a report by the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies criticised the proposed memorial, saying that people living nearby felt they were “being run over by the government”. A government spokesman says it is “impossible to say anything about the outcome” of the discussions about the proposed memorial.

Meanwhile, a temporary museum at the site of the car bomb in Oslo opened in July. Families of the victims have protested about the inclusion of items that belonged to Breivik. On Utøya itself, a memorial consisting of a large suspended metal ring with the engraved names of 60 victims also opened in July. The families of nine of the victims did not want their names to be included.