Rainbow on Skólavörðurstígur to Be Made Permanent

Skólavörðustígur Reykjavík pride LGBTQ+

The popular rainbow on Skólavörðustígur street in central Reykjavík, a symbol of the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, will now become a permanent fixture. Reykjavík City Council approved a motion yesterday to redo the painted rainbow using wear-resistant material. A redesign of the street released in 2021 initially proposed scrapping the rainbow but was met with protest.

“It’s wonderful that the rainbow will keep its place permanently, as it is a symbol of the Human Rights City Reykjavík where everyone is welcome,” stated City Councillor Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir, chairman of the city’s Environment and Planning Council. “This monument is very important in the minds and hearts of all of us who fight for the human rights of queer people who have been under attack. A symbol of queerness and queer struggle truly belongs in the heart of Reykjavík.”

The proposed redesign of Skólavörðustígur, which was initially presented in 2021, will now be adapted around the rainbow. The LGBTQ+ community will be involved in consultations to ensure that the symbol of its struggle, the rainbow, continues to hold an important spot in this location.

The rainbow was first painted on Skólavörðustígur in 2015 and has since become an identifying symbol of central Reykjavík, with tourists and locals alike stopping at the site to take selfies. Álfur Birkir Bjarnason, director of the National Queer Organisation of Iceland (Samtökin ’78), welcomed the decision to make the rainbow permanent. “This is good news for all queer people in Iceland and cements one of Reykjavík’s most visited landmarks,” he stated.

Reykjavík Pride Begins Today

Pride Week celebrations were kicked off today at noon with the painting of a rainbow on Skólavörðustígur street in downtown Reykjavík. The first rollers were set to the pavement by Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson alongside the members of the executive committee of Reykjavík Pride.

Painting a rainbow is a Reykjavík Pride tradition which marks the formal start of six days of Pride festivities. The rainbow has been painted at various locations in the city centre, including from the doors of the city hall and Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík junior college. While the executive committee and the mayor usually begin the painting, all are welcome to join in – and bringing your own paintbrush is recommended.

Reykjavík Pride will take place from August 7-12 this year, with the Pride Parade scheduled for Saturday, August 11 at 2.00pm. The parade concludes near Hljómskálagarður park, where an outdoor concert will take place.

Readers can visit the Reykjavík Pride website for the week’s complete programme.