Norway plans to gift Finland a mountain top for its 100th birthday

A retired Norwegian geophysicist is trying to convince Norway to offer a mountain summit to Finland.

MEL Film’Battle for Birthday Mountain showcases the efforts of one man to alter Norway’s national borders to move the 1,361-metre (4,465-foot) high Mount Halti to Finland.

Bjørn Geirr Harsson, a retired Norwegian geophysicist, got the idea back in 1972 during a gravity survey in the border area. Harsson realised that while the highest point in Finland was on a hillside, for Norway it was on a mountain.

“All over the world you find countries that fight or make war to enlarge their countries, but in this case, Norway is willing to give away a small part without anyone asking for anything in return,” Harsson said in the film.

“It is a gift from the heart of the Norwegians to Finland so we don’t expect anything back; we just want to give them something really nice when they celebrate 100 years as a free nation,” Harsson added.

The film’s director, David Freid, told The Local, “While we witness the rising tumult along international borders – from Ukraine and Russia, to the South China Sea, to Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico – the idea behind Birthday Mountain is a rare international gesture worth admiring.”

As shown in the film, the Norwegian government has ruled out the idea of transferring Mount Halti to Finland in reference to Article 1 of the Norwegian constitution which stipulates that the kingdom of Norway is “indivisible and inalienable”.

But the idea seems far from dead and the documentary hopes to create a massive surge in support that the government can’t ignore.

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