Poignant memorial for massacre victims

AIMEE GULLIVER
Last updated 15:00 06/03/2014
Utoya

CONCEPT: A proposal by Jonas Dahlberg of what the memorial for the Utoya Island massacre will look like.

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A symbol of a physical scar and of the permanent loss of those killed in the massacre on the Norwegian island of Utoya is what an artist has designed for their memorial.

Sixty-nine people, mainly children, were killed on July 22, 2011, when Anders Breivik opened fire on Utoya, which was hosting a camp for youth members of a Norwegian political party.

Earlier that day, Breivik planted a homemade fertiliser bomb in a car in the centre of Norway's capital Oslo. It blew out windows in government offices, killing eight people and wounded dozens more.

A design competition for a permanent memorial to the victims was held recently, with Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg's concept chosen as the winner.

Dahlberg proposed to strike a "wound" within the headland overlooking the small island. It would involve a 3.5-metre wide excavation running from the top of the headland to below the waterline and extending to each side, making it impossible to reach the end of the headland.

The judges of the contest said Dahlberg's proposal took the emptiness and traces of the tragic events as its starting point.

"Part of the headland will be removed and visitors will not be able to touch the names of those killed, as these will be engraved into the wall on the other side of the slice out of nature.

"The void that is created evokes the sense of sudden loss combined with the long-term missing and remembrance of those who perished."

The landmass that will be removed to create the void would be moved to a second memorial site at the Government Quarter in Oslo.

It would be used to create a path between two buildings there, with the names of the eight people killed in the bomb blast inscribed along the edge.

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