The 2011 terrorist act by Anders Behring Breivik that left 77 dead, the bloodiest in the country’s peacetime history, has left a deep scar on the Norwegian psyche.
Neighbours to the planned national memorial site opposite the island of Utøya, where 69 people were killed by terrorist Anders Behring Breivik on 22 July 2011, have sued the state and the Labour Party’s youth wing for endangering their mental health through “terrorist tourism”.
The memorial site on the Utøya quay opposite the eponymous island will consist of a large staircase and 77 three-metre-high columns in bronze – one for each of the 77 people who were killed in the government quarter and on Utøya, the newspaper Dagsavisen reported.
The neighbours’ lawyer Ole Hauge Bendiksen said the planned memorial site will pose a risk of causing injury, suffering, and discomfort to his clients. Many of the 16 neighbours were personally involved in rescuing young people during the terrorist attack against Labour’s youth camp on Utøya on 22 July 2011 and were left to deal with their traumatic memories.
Bendiksen argued that the memorial site will have a “comprehensive and dramatic expression” and be the subject of “significant terror-traumatic tourist piligrimages”.
Bendiksen contended that the creation of the site will also lead to negative psychosocial consequences for the local community.
“The local environment has been quite divided, and that division is quite strong. It creates further tensions in an already…