Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has confirmed that Norway is considering a proposal to commemorate the centenary of Finnish independence from Russia by moving its northern border westward in order to gift its eastern neighbour a mountain peak.
The mountain peak, Hálditšohkka, is situated 1,331 metres above sea level and would become the highest geographical point in Finland.
The proposal is, however, associated with some formal difficulties, Solberg reminds in an interview with NRK, the public broadcasting company of Norway.
“But we're looking into it,” she added.
The proposal to gift the lower of the two peaks of Halti, a fell located on the border between Finland and Norway, originated in Gáivuotna—Kåfjord, a municipality in Northern Norway, and has recently gained notable media attention around the world, especially in the United Kingdom.
“What do you give a country that has 188,000 lakes for a birthday present?” asks the Guardian. “Its highest mountain back, obviously.”
Finland's current highest point is situated on the mountainside 1,324 metres above sea level, no more than 40 metres east of the summit of Hálditšohkka. The proposal would thereby raise the highest geographical point of the country by 7 metres and only reduce the national territory of Norway by 0.015 square kilometres, according to the father of the idea, a retired geophysicist by the name of Bjørn Geirr Harsson.
Harsson came up with the idea after being puzzled by the location of the border while flying over the mountainous region in the 1970s, according to the Guardian. He has later estimated in interviews with local media outlets that the border, a straight line drawn in the 1750s, was “geophysically illogical” and that it was unfair and unfortunate for Finland that its highest point was not even a proper peak.
Finland will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence in 2017.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi