Reykjavík Mayor Seeks New Citizenship Skip to content

Reykjavík Mayor Seeks New Citizenship

Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr announced on Facebook earlier today that he is searching for citizenship of another country.

jongnarr2010_psPhoto: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

The reason: Jón’s real name is Jón Gunnar Kristinsson but he is known as Jón Gnarr, as he has been known since he was a child. However, according to the National Registry ‘Gnarr’ does not fulfill Icelandic naming laws.

Jón points out that foreign citizens are free to keep their last names when they move to Iceland while Icelanders must follow Icelandic tradition and law. According to Jón, this breaks international human rights law.

“You see, family names are banned here. It’s to protect some Icelandic tradition bla-bla-bla. Immigrants used to be forced to denounce their names and take up an Icelandic names. It is a violation of international human rights so they were forced to change it in the 90s. Icelandic parents are not allowed to name their child Jesus. But a lot of immigrants with Icelandic citizenship are named Jesus,” he wrote.

Jón said he would seek citizenship of another country so that he could leave Iceland, have his name legally recognized abroad and then return as a foreigner in order to be able to keep his chosen name.

The mayor also said that he had named his daughter Camilla after her grandmother but that the National Registry had changed it to Kamilla because the letter ‘c’ had since been dropped from the Icelandic alphabet and was now banned.


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