Danish grass imported for a restoration project in Reykjavík cost the city ISK 757,000 ($6,500/€5,600), RÚV reports. The notable expense is only one of many in the controversial restoration of a Nissen hut at 100 Nauthólsvegur road. While the projected budget for the restoration was around ISK 158 million ($1.4m/€1.2m), it has already cost the city ISK 415 million ($3.6m/€3.1m). The total cost of the project is not yet known.
The grass in question was imported from Denmark and is said to be “copyright protected.” City of Reykjavík Public Relations Officer Bjarni Brynjólfsson told Vísir he does not know exactly what this means, suggesting it may be because the gardeners who saw to the project “planned to grow it[…]and then found out that was not allowed.” Opposition councillors were less that thrilled about the news on social media.
The city council’s governing majority will put forth a proposal on Thursday asking for a comprehensive assessment of all costs related to the restoration “from beginning to end.” The proposal is a reversal from a decision made last week to exclude the project from an internal audit of city contracts, which was criticised by the opposition.
Other costs for the project include ISK 27 million ($231,000/€201,000) for an inspection carried out by EFLA Consulting Engineers and ISK 46 million ($394,000/€342,000) for toilets. Pirate Party councillor Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir, who also serves as the council’s president, called the project a “clear misuse of city taxpayer money.”
Margrét Leifsdóttir, the restoration’s architect stated she did not want to comment on the issue until the city’s assessment was completed.