Elf lobby blocks major road project near the capital of Iceland
Reykjavik, IcelandDecember 2013
Elf advocates in Iceland have joined forces with environmentalists to urge authorities to abandon a highway project that would go from Reykjavik to the Alftanes peninsula, as they claim will disturb elf habitat, including an elf church. In December 2013, the project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as ‘Friends of Lava’, who cite a cultural and environmental impact – including the plight of the elves – as a reason for regularly gathering hundreds of people to block workers from bulldozing the area.
Issues about Huldufolk (litterally hidden folk) have affected planning decisions before, and the road and coastal administration has come up with a stock media response for elf inquiries, which states in part that “issues have been settled by delaying the construction project at a certain point while the elves living there have supposedly moved on”. A survey conducted by the University of Iceland in 2007 found that 62% of the respondents thought it was at least possible that elves exist, a belief that comes from the time of the Viking colonisation.
> The Independent (23-12-2013). Road project in Iceland delayed to protect ‘hidden’ elves.
> IceNews (01-01-2014): Elves delay Iceland road-building project.