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Home* News and Stories → Lon­gye­ar­by­en ceme­tery may be moved becau­se of avalan­che risk

Lon­gye­ar­by­en ceme­tery may be moved becau­se of avalan­che risk

The ceme­tery of Lon­gye­ar­by­en has been in a calm part of the val­ley Lon­gye­arda­len for about a cen­tu­ry, bet­ween the church and Huset, the old town mee­ting place. It is still an acti­ve ceme­tery, the last buri­als were in 2013 and the­re may be more in the future. Only urn buri­als are allo­wed, howe­ver.

The loca­ti­on of the ceme­tery is calm, but may­be not calm enough in the long term. The steep moun­tain slo­pes near­by have pro­du­ced avalan­ches in recent years, most­ly landslips after peri­ods of rain, which have reached the ter­rain around the ceme­tery. In the last sum­mer, even the road bet­ween the church and Huset was clo­sed for pro­lon­ged peri­ods. It is pro­bab­ly only a ques­ti­on of time until the ceme­tery its­elf is hit and bad­ly dama­ged.

This is a sce­n­a­rio which Lon­gye­ar­by­en church with priest Leif Magne Hel­ge­sen are not wil­ling to accept. Hel­ge­sen has taken initia­ti­ve and star­ted a deba­te which may lead to a relo­ca­ti­on of the ceme­tery. It is a place of peace and digni­ty, for which many peop­le have strong fee­lings, accord­ing to Hel­ge­sen. He rea­sons that it would accord­in­gly be irre­spon­si­ble to lea­ve the ceme­tery in a place whe­re it may suf­fer bad dama­ge.

First mee­tings with aut­ho­ri­ties like the Sys­sel­man­nen, who is respon­si­ble for monu­ment con­ser­va­ti­on, and the local admin­stra­ti­on have taken place. Aut­ho­ri­ties in Lon­gye­ar­by­en have expe­ri­ence with moving and secu­ring gra­ves from his­to­ri­cal gra­ves that are threa­tened by coas­tal ero­si­on. Moving a who­le ceme­tery would, howe­ver, be a pro­ject of an ent­i­re­ly dif­fe­rent sca­le. Also rela­ti­ves will have to be invol­ved.

A new loca­ti­on would natu­ral­ly be near the church, which is a quiet part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en and has are­as that are not at risk from avalan­ches and lands­li­des.

The ceme­tery in Lon­gye­ar­by­en may be moved due to the risk of lands­li­des and avalan­ches.

Cemetery Longyearbyen.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2017-10-11 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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