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Norway may get a Royal “Mount Rushmore” with the face of King Harald

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

The Norwegian municipality of Bjerkreim and mountain-owner Arvid Mæland want to make a Norwegian Mount Rushmore, with the face of King Harald. The proposal has received support and those behind the idea are now looking at making it a reality.

Farmer Arvid Mæland has recently taken over a large mountain farm in Lauperak in Bjerkreim municipality in the west-Norwegian region of Rogaland. He wants to donate the mountain, so that a monument can be made in honour of the king. The inspiration is the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, USA, which has four presidents carved into the mountainside. Arivd Mæland said to Norwegian TV-channel NRK: “The monarchy receives too little attention, and King Harald is a well liked and down-to-earth type who absolutely deserves such a landmark.”

The inspiration for the plans is centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the design and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941. Mount Rushmore attracts more than two million visitors annually.

Arivd Mæland has gained the support of Mayor Kjetil Slettebø. He welcomes such a monument and believes that this royal tribute could attract tourists. He says: “This area is popular already, and if we get another Instagram motif then it is very good. Then we get the ability to use this nature even more”.

Now the landowner and the municipality have begun to look at opportunities to finance the plans, but realize that this can take a long time. The Norwegian Royal Court has issued the following comment on the plans: “It is not natural for the Royal Court to comment on this case”.

Bjerkreim is a municipality in Rogaland County. It is located in the traditional district of Dalane. Nature has been generous in giving Bjerkreim many idyllic places, still relatively close to a major city, Stavanger. Bjerkreim has one of the most important salmon rivers in Norway, Bjerkreimselva. Bjerkreim has a population of 2,787.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.