Norway: pharaonic library to go on in Oslo, it will costo 60 mln

(AGI) - Oslo, 2 dec. - The newly elected city Council in Oslohas decided not to throw away existing plans for a newpharaonic national library in Oslo. The decision comes aftermonths of speculation, a 3 year delay, and already exceeded thebudget by 55 million euros. Norway's new national library willtherefore be situated next to the Oslo Opera House after all. When the socialist parties won the local elections inseptember this year and came to power in Oslo, they were soonto announce a full evaluation of the proposed library plans, asthe process was

(AGI) - Oslo, 2 dec. - The newly elected city Council in Oslohas decided not to throw away existing plans for a newpharaonic national library in Oslo. The decision comes aftermonths of speculation, a 3 year delay, and already exceeded thebudget by 55 million euros. Norway's new national library willtherefore be situated next to the Oslo Opera House after all. When the socialist parties won the local elections inseptember this year and came to power in Oslo, they were soonto announce a full evaluation of the proposed library plans, asthe process was initiated by the previous and conservative citycouncil in 2012. Weeks of media scrutiny is likely to come toan end as sources confirm that the city Council has decided tostick with the initial plans, and continue the expensivebuilding process. The final decision will be announced at apress conference Wednesday afternoon. First stage of the building process was initiated some timeago, but was put to a halt as soon as the socialist coalitiontook office. According to an expert report, ending the buildingwould alone cost the tax payers at least 60 million euros, andsince Oslo is in dire need of a new main library, pundits claimthat Oslo's politicians found their hands taped to the steeringwheel. Any other option than the already over-budget libraryplans would be even more expensive and cause tremendouspolitical turmoil for Oslo's first socialist city council in 20years. Situated next to the Opera House, the new Munch Museum andthe new National Museum, the library will be part of Oslo'slargest tourist area, and local politicians are hoping thelibrary will spearhead their massive commitment to culture inNorway's capitol. Within a few years, three new publicallyfunded institutions dedicated to the arts will have costseveral billion euro of tax payer money, something Norway'sright wing party, the Progress Party, have long opposed. "We cannot accept that Oslo's elderly citizens and ourweakest inhabitants are in fact handed the check for thismadness", Carl I. Hagen, the founder of The Progress Party toldNorwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK) Wednesday morning, afterhearing the news. Hagen is convinced that the library will goeven further over budget, creating a permanent sink hole inpublic budgets for decades, and passing handing the check overto the city's younger generations. The library will be built onclay at the Oslo waterfront, and Hagen thinks the building willgo another 120 million Euro over budget. Should he be right,today's decision to go on with the building process anderecting the library will likely be remembered as a disastrousdecision. (AGI)