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San­ta Claus mail­box

The giant San­ta Claus mail­box was built in Decem­ber 2013 by Po Lin Lee from Hon­kong, to high­light Lon­gye­ar­by­en as San­ta Claus town. Pas­si­on for a spe­cial place or a cle­ver busi­ness move? The huge mail­box is, any­way, con­tro­ver­si­al: for the offi­ci­al post, it is too simi­lar to a real let­ter box, and not ever­y­bo­dy in Lon­gye­ar­by­en thinks their home town is appro­pria­te­ly descri­bed as San­ta Claus town. In 2015, the tem­po­ra­ry appr­oval for set­ting up the let­ter box ran ut, and the admi­nis­tra­ti­on said they never got the com­ple­te papers for a new appli­ca­ti­on, so it should have been remo­ved. Pro­blems at 78 degrees north!

Update Novem­ber 2017 (I): the local admi­nis­tra­ti­on (Lon­gye­ar­by­en Lokals­ty­re, LL) has deci­ded that the San­ta Claus let­ter box will be demo­lished on Mon­day, Novem­ber 20. The cos­ts, NOK 129,000 (curr­ent­ly 13,300 Euro), are to be car­ri­ed by the owner, Po Lin Lee. Obvous­ly a mat­ter of even more quar­rel! LL says that Po Lin Lee had ple­nty of time to find ano­ther solu­ti­on, such as sel­ling the let­ter­box, app­ly­ing for fur­ther per­mits and so on. Accor­ding to Po Lin Lee, howe­ver, she had tried to nego­tia­te with LL (through lawy­ers) wit­hout suc­cess and claims that she had been trea­ted unf­air­ly (the­re is a sto­rage buil­ding near­by that has been the­re for years wit­hout per­mis­si­on).

Update Novem­ber 2017 (II): The dead­line set by the local admi­nis­tra­ti­on ran out on Mon­day (Novem­ber 20). One day befo­re that, a com­pa­ny star­ted to take the let­ter­box down on behalf of the owner, try­ing to keep it int­act so it can be built up again later on ano­ther site. Accor­ding to Po Lin Lee, the­re are seve­ral inte­res­ted par­ties out­side Sval­bard. The opti­on to put the let­ter­box up again some­whe­re else in Lon­gye­ar­by­en is also still on the table, accor­ding to the owner.



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last modification: 2019-02-04 · copyright: Rolf Stange