Iceland To Spend 1M GBP To Keep Two Palm Trees Alive

The Icelandic capital Reykjavik’s plan to spend almost a million GBP to plant two living palm trees needing expensive lights and heating to keep them alive in the freezing climate has been slammed by the opposition party.

The palm trees will be out of their element in Iceland where there is only five hours of sunlight a day in winter, which means that in order to survive outside they will need to be in pricey glass containers that have their own heat and lighting systems.

Two palms worth nearly 1 million GBP to be planted in the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavik

The proposed installation by German artist Karin Sander was the winner of an outdoor artwork contest for Vogabyggd, a new apartment complex in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, which was organised by the city’s Art Museum.

According to local media, the trees will be installed in a glass container to provide them with warmth and light, and the feature will cost 140 million ISK (900,000 GBP).

The controversial installation will be part of a new city square connected to bicycle and walking paths. A pedestrian bridge will also link the area with a nursery and primary school as well as a new public park.

The expensive piece involves two palm trees inside two glass terrariums and is designed by Sander. The German artist has received numerous awards for her work, which has been exhibited worldwide, particularly in Europe and the US.

However, the announcement has not gone down well with the city’s opposition party.

Karin Sande, a German artist who proposed the project ‘Palm Tree’

Sanna Magdalena Mortudottir of the Socialist Party said: “Even though it might be nice to look at palm trees, it would be much more rewarding to observe secure housing.

“I think poorer citizens of Reykjavik would prefer to live in a safe place rather than see expensive reminders of warmer, southern climes – an environment they may never experience because they can’t afford to go abroad for holiday.”

Meanwhile, city councillor Hjalmar Sveinsson said that the palm trees will be “a magnet and landmark for the area”.

Reports said that the design was chosen for being unexpected, fun and daring, and that palm trees are a symbol of exotic places.

Council meetings on the proposal are expected in the days to come.

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Story By: Bartosz Staszewski, Sub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News


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