Expensive grass planted in a controversial City of Reykjavík restoration project was ripped up last night, RÚV reports. The grass was imported from Denmark specially for the restoration of a Nissen hut at 100 Nauthólsvegur road and is reported to have cost the City of Reykjavík ISK 757,000 ($6,500/€5,600).
The restoration has been the subject of criticism from the public as well as city councillors for going extraordinarily over budget. While the projected cost of the project was around ISK 158 million ($1.4m/€1.2m), it has already cost the city ISK 415 million ($3.6m/€3.1m), and has yet to be completed. The cost of the grass in particular was heavily criticised, and last night an unknown party appears to have taken the mater into their own hands.
“Most of [the blades] were ripped up and thrown all around the area[…]They were of course torn up with the roots so there was a lot of soil and fertiliser and stuff around them,” recounted Dalmar Ingi Daðason, restaurant manager at Bragginn Bistro, the restaurant housed in the restored barracks. Dalmar says although he can sympathise with people’s anger over the project’s extravagant spending of tax money, “it’s not possible to show any understanding” for vandalism. “This is a sad issue.”
Though the restoration is not fully completed, the City of Reykjavík told RÚV that Reykjavík University has agreed to rent them in their current state. Representatives from the City stated it is up to RU to decide whether to complete construction of the toilets, which remain unfinished. RU representatives, on the other hand, say the building housing the toilets is not included in their rental agreement with the city.