5 Danish municipalities have made budgets to remove select WWII-bunkers which due to their decay and tilting under sea represent danger to people swimming in the ocean. A bunker removal is budgeted with app. 20.000 DKK per bunker, and the State (the Coast directorate) pays the rest, up to 100.000 DKK per bunker. With approximately 100 bunkers pointed out, this makes a total of 10 million DKK, app 1,34 million EURO, earmarked to blow up bunkers (in Jyllands-posten on print today or week-old on web).
In comparison, BunkerLove is paying 25.000 DKK (+ 25% VAT) to have Gold Tooth cleansed by Spray-Away at the moment. The bunkers are incredibly difficult to just blow up, they are build only to last, and even highly creative attempts in the past have failed.
Bunker artist and maker of Gold Tooth Erik Peitersen is being interviewed about his view on the bunkers in Kulturen at TV2 News 19.30 this evening and wish to stress the absurdity to the scenario of spending millions to protect potential swimmers unaware of the bunkers’ sometimes invisible presence… He does not believe the budget is a realistic one, yet even if the project is completed, he believes the money could be spend in far better ways, using the bunkers as a cultural mediator.
- Allow ugliness… In our efforts to secure and make everything look pretty we make our biggest mistakes… Why not allow a bit of danger and ugliness, why so scared to put up a warning sign? Or just remove the metal parts.
- Creatively transform rather than believe we can destroy the bunkers.
- Raise awareness of what the bunkers represent – lack of rational thinking, war lead by fear-mongering (and now paying with tax money again). We need holistic solutions and we need to make conscious choices for how we deal with our cultural heirloom – to make a better future with less fear and greater equality.
- Acknowledge the clash between cultural behaviour and Nature which the bunkers represent, and make the clash a fertile one, by applying rational thinking and interdisciplinarity.
- It’s okay to spend some money on securing our lovely beaches, but could this be approached in a more meaningful manner, through cross-cultural collaboration in order to build a new wall? A wall to stand on to look further, rather than to divide or hide behind?
- Suggest collaboration between Teknik- og Miljøudvalget and BunkerLove and others with a complimentary mission, to turn necessity into a cultural and artistic virtue.
From 1988-98 the Danish Nature Agency made a complete report for which bunkers to preserve and which to let loose, and for how to execute such registration and communication work and learn from bunker preservation projects in Norway, Finland, UK and Holland. It seems nothing happened since then… Facts remain: The bunkers are not officially registered and there is no principled position on the bunkers in Denmark, and no principled European position on the Atlantic Wall bunkers. No one wants to take responsibility? No one wants to take ownership?
What else could be done with some bunkers and 10 million DKK?
We love Erik Peitersen!