A National Memorial for 22 July in Oslo’s New Government Quarter

In commemoration of the victims of the terror attacks of 22 July 2011, Norway will establish a national memorial in connection with the new Government Quarter in central Oslo. KORO is commissioned to lead the project’s first phase. After an open call for expressions of interest and a subsequent competition for selected artists, the winning proposal for the memorial will be announced in 2025.

The government has set off an area for the memorial within the Johan Nygaardsvolds plaza. At the foot of the historic Høyblokka building, the area is close to where the bomb was detonated and to where the entrance to the new 22 July Centre, a national remembrance and learning centre dedicated to the legacy of the attacks, will be. Image: Statsbygg/team Urbis.

Om prosjektet

(Norsk prosjektside)

Useful links


The bombing in Oslo and the massacre on the island of Utøya on 22 July 2011 were the worst terrorist attacks in modern Norwegian history. Eight people were killed in the Government Quarter in central Oslo, and 69 were killed on Utøya, an island outside the capital that is the historic home of a summer camp organised by the Norwegian Labour Party’s youth wing (AUF). Most of the victims were young people. Many more were injured and subjected to life-threatening danger, both in the Government Quarter and on Utøya. The damage was enormous.  

The attacks were politically motivated, carried out by a Norwegian right-wing extremist targeting democratic institutions, the Labour Party in particular, and politically involved youth. The terrorist’s atrocities lack precedent in Norwegian history.  

In 2012, the government decided to establish two official memorials, one in connection with Utøya, the other in the Government Quarter in Oslo. The permanent memorial at Utøyakaia, the mainland berth for the ferry to Utøya, opened in the spring of 2022. A temporary memorial opened in the Government Quarter in 2018, which the permanent memorial resulting from this process will replace. 

KORO’s previous project relating to remembrance sites was concluded in 2017. You can read more about the process here (in Norwegian). 

The Project 

The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (KDD) has commissioned KORO to develop a preliminary project for a permanent national memorial to be established in the Government Quarter. You can read the commissioning letter here (pdf in Norwegian). In June 2023, the commisioning letter was updated. This letter is available here (pdf in Norwegian). 

The government has set off an area for the memorial within the Johan Nygaardsvolds plaza. At the foot of the historic Høyblokka building, the area is close to where the bomb was detonated and to where the entrance to the new 22 July Centre, a national remembrance and learning centre dedicated to the legacy of the attacks, will be. Along with this learning centre, the memorial will be part of the new Government Quarter. Accessible 24 hours a day, the new memorial will be a suitable place for commemorative events. The names of the 77 victims will be part of the remembrance site. 

The preliminary project will be carried out as an open call for expressions of interest, followed by a subsequent two-stage art competition for selected artists and architects. The winning proposal will be chosen by an interdisciplinary jury consisting of experts from the fields of art and memory studies as well as persons from relevant interest groups and affected persons. 

Memorials and Society 

The process towards realizing the memorial will involve the public, and KORO will facilitate open events with the aim of supporting public discussions and critical discourse around the histories and possibilities for memorials today. The conversation series Memorials and Society: expectations, negotiations and artistic articulations will be a forum for professionals in the fields of public art and memory work to share knowledge with the public and the jury. The first event will take place on 21 September 2023 with contributions by Mathias Danbolt, Jørgen Watne Frydnes, Trude Schjelderup Iversen, Mari Magnus, Camille Norment and Mechtild Widrich. The events will also be streamed and documented. As part of this series, in June 2024, KORO will host a seminar where the selected artists in the competition will be expected to present their proposals in a public setting.  

Programme for the Preliminary Project 

KORO have developed a programme for the preliminary project that will be an important part of the basis for the competition. The programme has multiple aims:  

  • designate a direction and act as a governing tool for decisions taken during the process. The framework provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, can be found in Chapter 2.
  • specify the overall framework for dialogue, involvement and communication, as described in Chapter 3.
  • be a base of knowledge for everyone involved (competition participants, jury members, KORO, experts, employers, reference groups and all interested parties). In Chapter 4, the commission is placed in a historical context. In Chapter 5, we examine the artistic context that monuments and memorials are a part of in more detail. In Chapter 6, we highlight relevant examples of meaningful memorials, and in Chapter 7, we describe the physical context. Taken together, these form the backdrop of the commission.
  • specify the conditions, frameworks and prerequisites of the competition that will take place, as described in Chapters 8 and 9.
  • be a document that is an object for involvement. The document (only in Norwegian language) has been circulated for review, and the feedback has resulted in changes. 

Overall goal for the memorial:

The national memorial to the terrorist attacks in the Government Quarter and on Utøya on 22 July 2011 shall be a meaningful place to gather, remember and reflect for Norway as a society, for all those affected and for those who lost loved ones.

The following guidelines expand on the overall goal and form the basis of the work:

  1. The memorial shall have artistic integrity, be of high quality and contribute to how we remember and reflect on 22 July, now and in the future.
  2. The memorial shall contribute to reflections on the causes and consequences of the terrorist attacks and the values that were attacked on 22 July.
  3. The memorial shall contribute to a lasting memory of those who were killed or injured.
  4. The national memorial is for everyone: the bereaved, survivors, volunteers, emergency service works, those who lost good friends, colleagues or a safe workplace, us as a society and as individuals, and current and future generations.
  5. Together with the work of the learning centre, research and educational systems, the political apparatus and the critical public, the memorial will be part of society’s continuous work on preventing similar attacks and counteracting the ideas behind them.
  6. The process leading up to the final design decision is a part of society’s management and processing of memories after 22 July. An inclusive and involved process with space for reactions and public conversations are emphasised as an important part of the work.


Contact Us! 

We want to facilitate a good and open dialogue with the public. We want everyone to feel free to send us questions and input. You can contact the project manager Mari Magnus at mm(at)koro.no.  




Johan Nygaardsvolds plass, Oslo  




Mari Magnus , KORO


Trude Schjelderup Iversen , KORO

Informasjon og formidling

André Gali , KORO


Kommunal- og distriktsdepartementet 






Kunst til andre offentlige arenaer


Fall 2022


Spring 2023


Fall 2023

Open Call

Spring 2024

Closed competition, part 1

Fall 2024

Closed competition, part 2

Spring 2025

Winner is announced