Memorial pays tribute to Norway massacre victims

  • 23/07/2015
Anders Breivik (Reuters)
Anders Breivik (Reuters)

A memorial dedicated to the victims of a massacre in Norway has opened amid fears it could become a "hall of fame" for mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

The exhibition has triggered controversy as several objects used by Breivik in his July 2011 rampage, such as the remains of the van where he hid his bomb and the fake ID and insignia he used to impersonate a police officer, are on display

The right-wing extremist killed 77 people in in the worst peacetime atrocity in Norway, claiming he was fighting against multiculturalism and a "Muslim invasion".

The temporary exhibition is housed on the ground floor of the government complex in Oslo that the killer, now 36, unsuccessfully tried to blow up with a massive car bomb.

"The information centre should spread knowledge in order to prevent hatred, violence and terrorism," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at the opening ceremony, in a speech that brought her close to tears.

"This year, terror struck again in Europe, in Copenhagen and in Paris," a black-clad Solberg told an audience of about 200 people.

"This week it hit young people in Turkey," she added, referring to the suicide bombing that killed 32 people on Monday (local time).

On July 22, 2011, Breivik detonated a 950-kilo car bomb at the foot of the 17-storey office building of the prime minister, current NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who also attended Wednesday's ceremony.

The blast killed eight people.

Then, in what is believed to be the deadliest peacetime shooting incident ever committed by a single man, he opened fire on a gathering of the Labour Party's youth wing on the island of Utoya, killing another 69 people, most of them teenagers.

Breivik, who has never shown any remorse, is currently in solitary confinement serving a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely if he is considered a threat.