'Memory Wound' To Honor Victims of Norway Massacre

Image: Winner of competition Memorial sites
An undated handout released by Jonas Dahlberg Studio on Thursday shows a photograph of an illustration of the artwork from Swedish artist. Dahlberg won the competition to create a memorial to the victims of a gunman's massacre in Norway that left 77 dead.JONAS DAHLBERG STUDIO / HANDOUT / EPA

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A memorial to the 77 people slain three years ago by a lone-wolf terrorist in Norway will cut right through the heart — and straight through an island.

Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg was unanimously selected to design two public art installations that will memorialize the victims killed July 22, 2011 in an Oslo car bombing and a subsequent mass shooting on the island of Utøya.

"An emotional observation informs my overall concept," Dahlberg explains in his description for the memorial.

The centerpiece to the memorials is an 11-foot cut through the island, to be called "Memory Wound." The artist said the installation will represent a wound within nature itself from the tragic loss of life.

The memorial will start with a guided pathway through the forest, about a five- or 10-minute walk. It will then lead to a tunnel, which will bring people inside the landscape right to the cut itself. Across from the cut will be the names of those who died carved in stone, close enough to see and read.

"It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died," Dahlberg said in his statement. "The cut is an acknowledgement of what is forever irreplaceable."

He plans to have the material from the cutting of the land transferred to Oslo for a temporary and then permanent memorial, where there will be trees and the inscribed names. The materials will be used to make a path that takes them off the regular road and then back.

— Alessandra Malito