Literary critic and author Jón Karl Helgason speculates whether Iceland’s beloved environmentalist Ómar Ragnarsson, whose 70th birthday was declared Icelandic Nature Day this year, will receive this honour in
This would put Ómar in the ranks of Jón Sigurðsson, a strong independence advocate, whose birthday on June 17 was declared Icelandic Independence Day, and Jónas Hallgrímsson, an acclaimed author, poet and naturalist, whose birthday on November 16, was declared Icelandic Language Day. Statues of both men stand in Austurvöllur and appear on stamps. Jón Sigurðsson, who is often referred to as “Jón, the president,” also appears on the 500 krónur bank note.
Ómar has made highly acclaimed films documenting Iceland’s nature and condemning the Kárahnjúkar dam and aluminium smelters. For his 70th birthday, the nation pitched in to gift him with a total of 12 million ISK, which was enough to cover the debt he went into to make documentaries on damming and construction projects in Iceland.
Jón Karl, who has studies Europeans who have been canonized, said it was too early to know today, but pointed to similarities between Ómar and Sigurðsson, who both have both used art to defend nature, according to a vísir.is report.