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The parliament voted against postponing the demolition of the Y-block

Y-BLOCK / "The seminar must end," said Nicolai Astrup (H) in the Storting today, citing that the Y-block must now be fully discussed. MODERN TIMES follows the fate of the Y-block.


The Storting has today been treated for treatment on June 3 representative Suggestions  from SVs Petter Eide, Karin Andersen and Freddy André Øvstegård on postponement of demolition of the Y-block to
The Oslo District Court has handled the case.

A majority of the Storting voted against the proposal (79 against 8 votes) and the demolition of the Y-block can therefore take place before the case comes up in the District Court. A detailed overview of which representatives voted for and against (and who was not present) can be found here. The 8 who voted for The postponement was: Karin Andersen (SV), Une Bastholm (MDG), Petter Eide (SV), Ola Elvestuen (V), Mona Fagerås (SV), Katrine Boel Gregussen (SV), Lars Haltbrekken (SV), Bjørnar Moxnes (Red ).

Representative proposal: «[..] Norwegian Architects' Federation og The past memory association has sued the Ministry of Municipal and Modernization before the court. They believe that the zoning plan for the new government quarter and the demolition framework permit are not valid. The case is due in Oslo District Court in August, and the two organizations asked the district court for a temporary ban on the demolition of the Y-block until the case is processed. The Oslo District Court rejected the claim on April 7, 2020. Although the plaintiffs were unsuccessful in the application for a temporary injunction, the issue of the validity of the demolition decision will still be considered in the Oslo District Court at the end of August.
The City Council in Oslo has also later turned the matter around with a majority decision for the preservation of the Y-block on April 22, 2020. »

Pulls the lawsuit

After the Storting voted down the postponement proposal this afternoon, Secretary General of the Fortime Memorial Association Ola Fjeldheim told NRK that the Support action for the Y block draws the lawsuit.

- There will now be irreparable damage to the building before the trial begins. We fight for the preservation of the Y-block, if it is torn down we no longer have any legal requirements. Therefore, in consultation with our lawyer Berit Reiss-Andersen, we have decided to withdraw the case, the court will be informed of it as soon as possible, Fjeldheim told NRK.

Demonstrations and actions

There have been several demonstrations and actions to preserve the Y-block, with one persistent and powerful supportive action. A peaceful campaign the week after Oslo's city government called for preservation resulted arrests and smooth cell for several of those involved, among them Ellen de Vibe, former director of the Oslo Planning and Building Agency and Y-architect's grandson Espen Viksjø. The Y-block has also been debated abroad, in social media and in the Debate program at NRK May 5. Around the Y-block there is now activity from Statsbygg, where the removal of parts of the building and demolition preparations behind the fence has been reported.

Nicolai Astrup (H) rushes past the protesters on April 28. (Photo: Tone Dalen)

The representative proposal states: “It is not disputed that KMD has formal permission to implement further plans to demolish the Y-block. At the same time, SV believes that the completion of the demolition prior to the court hearing in August creates significant challenges. You risk that the Oslo District Court is processing a case regarding the validity of a demolition decision at a time after demolition has already been implemented. ”

The proposal read: The Storting asks the government to instruct Statsbygg to suspend the implementation of the demolition decision on the Y-block until the matter has been finally dealt with in the Oslo District Court.

In addition, the MDGs submitted two "loose" proposals, which were also voted on:

1: The Storting asks the Government to investigate and propose a physical and economically scaled-down project for the RKV government quarter, as the Oslo City Council unanimously requested in its City Council decision April 22, 2020, and 2: The Storting asks the Government to suspend the demolition of the Y-block. to the Storting has considered a proposal for a physically and economically scaled-down project for the RKV government quarter.

MDG's two proposals were voted down, with 80 against 8 votes respectively.

Minutes from the Storting (Posts and Replies):

The first representative on the pulpit in a grinning Parliament room was Stein Erik Lauvås (A) – Spokesperson on behalf of the Local Government and Public Administration Committee: "An overall Local Government and Public Administration Committee (excluding SV) believes that a safe and secure government quarter must be a main premise", and listed all involved agencies and advisers who have supported demolition. [..] "The Y-block cannot be based on safety considerations."

The art must be taken care of, but the building must give way

Torill Eidsheim (H), the Municipal and Public Administration Committee followed up that the block has "Great cultural historical value. The art should be taken care of, but the building must give way ”and also justify this in terms of security. "The works will be taken care of and integrated into a new quarter."

Heidi Greni (Sp) stated that "it is time for this part of the reconstruction to start properly." Greni emphasized the security aspect and repeated the list of advisors and agencies that Lauvås framed. She also called for cost estimates.

Petter Eide (SV)
Petter Eide (SV)

Petter Eide (SV) – The Justice Committee: «The debate is about the instruction on demolition. "SV recognizes the security aspects, but all the references to July 22 are a moral stigma", said Eide.

He added that modern solutions have been given priority over historical protection. SV wants the Storting to "take a break in the demolition" until the District Court hears the case in August. "SV will lose the vote in the Storting today, but will be remembered as a party that stood up for the preservation of the Y-block," concluded Eide.

Removing the block will be seen as a historical mistake.

Ola Eleven (V) – The Finance Committee: «I have been beyond and looked at the beautiful Y-block today. Removing the block will be seen as a historic mistake. "
He recalled that the building was about to be protected before the terrorist attack.
"Maybe the Y-block can be used for something else? As Minister of Climate and Environment, I could not stop a demolition, but as a parliamentary representative, I will vote for the proposal today. "

The Y-block stood when the dust settled. We make ourselves more homeless in history by tearing it down.

Bjørnar Moxnes (R): opened with the quote "Society should be spared for leaders who know the price of everything but not the value of anything."
He said: “The Y-block is invaluable historically. The Government Quarter is a landmark for the reconstruction of Norway. [..] There are only two facilities where Picasso's works are exposed in the public space. [..] "Democracy does not work as it should," said Moxnes. "We have to wait until the court has had its say. The Y-block was standing when the dust settled. We make ourselves more homeless in history by tearing down. Red will vote for all proposals to preserve, there is no shame in turning around. "

All or part preservation is also not properly investigated

A Bastholm (MDG): "The City Council gave a clear message to return to the drawing board. We risk a less pleasant city. The area is something everyone owns. ”
"Full or partial conservation is also not properly investigated," Bastholm said, calling for a scaled-down project and environmental and climate considerations.

Nicolai Astrup (H)
Nicolai Astrup (H)

Nicolai Astrup: (H) Emphasized that it has been a "long, thorough, open process, with all considerations considered." The Y-block cannot be used for departmental purposes, Astrup said. “Security is about securing those who will be working in the government quarter, many working there on July 22. It's not about costs, but security. " He expressed his appreciation for the commitment, but pointed out that "a new quarter will be raised".

We risk the district court handling the case when the block is down

Replicate from Petter Eide: "We risk the district court handling the case when the block is down. Wouldn't it be more logical for the District Court to hear the case first? ”. astrup replied that this is not a matter of law, but politics, and that the matter has been up several times, with several similar decisions. "The seminar must end," Astrup said, pointing out that the state has been successful in all instances. He also pointed out that there have been "great costs in postponing the case". Bastholm asked: "What are the political reasons for" rushing "the case?"
Astrup: "The case is not rushed, this has been worked on for many years. A cultural memorable compromise was to keep the high block: "The most important thing was to preserve the high block," and said that "it will be a green, open and safe quarter."

- Painful and difficult

Karen Andersen (SV)
Karen Andersen (SV)

Karin Andersen (SV): said it is "a painful and difficult background for discussion. We who have a different point of view [on the demolition] are also concerned about security. ”
An invisible building is about to be demolished, Andersen said.
“There has been a lot of debate in a case that is difficult to discuss. [..] I'd rather have the whole quarter built up the way it was. Terrorists should not be urban planners, ”Andersen said.

Terrorists should not be urban planners

Stein Erik Lauvås (A): Recalled the plan to close Grubbegata and warned against ignoring the background [terrorist attack] and the main argument that is security. "We must do what we can to prevent new terrorist attacks. We must not adopt the postponement proposal. ”

astrup made a reply to Andersen about the premise. "The ministry community will gather. The decision was made when the SV was put in government. Now we have even more stringent security requirements. Unfortunate for the city if we were to have small fortresses scattered around the city. ” We must be co-located effectively, if we are to work across sectors, Astrup said. The premise lies there, designing a good quarter. It's not a good city space today, Astrup argued.

A Bastholm: “People feel it's not a good process. It is difficult when the security question comes up as a counter-argument ”. When key players ask for an assessment of the validity of the decision, we should wait for demolition and look at cost limits, Bastholm said.

Karin Andersen: "Should it be a fortress or not a fortress? This is not up for grabs, ”Andersen said, referring to Astrup. “You don't have to be together (cf. the corona crisis) you can sit anywhere and work together across. One does not have to work in a very complex way to cooperate, it is not an important premise. The premise is wrong. ” The parliament will look at alternatives within a cost framework that also safeguards security, Andersen said.

- We who want to preserve are stigmatized

Petter Eide: Reconstruction after the terror is a problematic rhetoric for us who want to preserve, said Eide. "Those who want to tear, push the victims of July 22 in front of them. We who want to preserve are stigmatized. This way of "rigging" the argument paralyzes the debate, and prevents us from discussing security – but instead we discuss the legacy after July 22 ", said Eide.

astrup replied: "Reconstruction is not rhetoric but a fact."
Whether fortress or not: «Easier to plan one quarter than to secure enclosed buildings. Unfortunate for the city with security measures around the city. The Police Directorate's recommendation was to gather. "
About the city council: «a little elaborate statement, including opening of Akersgaten. The cost of sitting the way we do is $ 5 billion in rent and temporary insurance. Justifying the policy as it is now being done is wrong. The decision has been made, now the task is to be accomplished, "Astrup said.

Jon Engen Helgheim (FrP) commented: "The case has been well lit."
Reply to Eide that the victims of July 22 are pushed forward: "It is wrong, it is a debate I do not experience having seen." I think we have had an open debate, and that security has weighed 'very heavily' for several, Helgheim concluded.

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Iril Kolle
Iril Kolle
Freelance journalist, translator and graphic designer.

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