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2 July 2000
Swedish Rock Art site in danger

The rock carvings around Tanum in northern Bohuslän (in Sweden) runs the risk of being removed from the UNESCO World Heritage List. The reason is the plans by the Swedish National Road Administration (Vägverket) to build a motorway straight through the area.
      These Bronze age rock carvings was included to the prestigious list of priceless natural and cultural environments five years ago. But now the UN organisation focus on Bohuslän and the organisation is ready to reconsider its decision, says Sveriges Radios Ekoredaktion. The National Road Administration have presented two alternative routes for the new road through the Tanum area. One of the alternatives cuts straight through the of rock carvings very dense area around Vitlycke.
      "The connection with the surrounding landscape would be lost if the landscape should be divided by a motorway", says Anita Larsson Modin, the head of the rock carving museum at Vitlycke.
      According to Per-Erik Winberg, the leader of the E6 project at the National Road Administration, the alternative that save the rock carving area is 230 million SEK (about US $ 24 millions) more expensive, and the road is also going to be longer. It is not yet decided which of the alternatives that the National Road Administration are going to choose. The final decision might depend on the choice of Swedish Minister of Industry Björn Rosengren. Leading local politicians in Tanum seems to think that the motorway is more important than the status of the area as World Heritage.

Sources: Göteborgs-Posten (14 June 2000), BRITARCH Mailing List (15 June 2000), Gunnar Creutz/Stone Pages Archaeo Forum (16-26 June 2000)

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