chapter  7
16 Pages

Heritage Value Revisited after 22 July 2011 – The Norwegian Government Block as an Expression of Public Values and a National Symbol

On 22 July in 2011 the Norwegian government district in Oslo was hit by a bomb attack resulting in a partly damaged and temporarily useless government block. The attack was followed by a massacre at the Labour Party’s youth camp at Utøya, a 40-minute drive from Oslo, before the perpetrator was apprehended and brought to trial. The bomb and the killing were described by the perpetrator, a 32 year old Norwegian male, as a protest against the ‘islamisation’ of Norway and an attack on the Norwegian social democracy that let this happen by hitting the people and the buildings perceived to represent that political stance. The recovery required in the aftermath of the terror attack involved healing the wounds (see Fagerland in the previous chapter) as well as reconstructing the government district. This chapter discusses how the 22 July attack has affected approaches to the heritage represented by government buildings.