Monday, October 09, 2006

Give Peace a Chance

Or at least a few more bucks:

A major fight has broken out between the board of the private foundation that runs the Nobel Peace Center (Nobels Fredssenter) and Norway's government minister for cultural affairs, Trond Giske.

Geir Lundestad, who leads the Nobel Peace Center's board, admits that the funding the center received from private sponsors, and which was supposed to last until 2008, is nearly used up. The board had hoped to receive NOK 30 million (about USD 4.6 million) in state funding, but only NOK 17.3 million was earmarked in the government's budget proposal released on Friday.

Most of that amount, NOK 14 million, must be paid back in rent to the state real estate manager Statsbygg, which formally controls the former train station where the Nobel Peace Center is housed. That leaves just NOK 3.3 million for operations, meaning much of the center's staff will have to be let go.

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