From Iceland — Famed Natural Landmark Sold To German And Icelandic Private Companies

Famed Natural Landmark Sold To German And Icelandic Private Companies

Published November 25, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Hjörleifshöfði, an inselberg off the southern coast of Iceland with centuries-old historic significance to the country, has been sold to two private interests, Vísir reports.

Þórir Níels Kjartansson and siblings Áslaug and Halla were the previous owners of Hjörleifshöfði, but have for a long time now wanted to sell it. The land was officially put on the market in 2016 and, while they had hoped to sell it to the Icelandic government, the siblings reported that the state showed no interest. As such, they ended up selling it to the German company STEAG Power Minerals and the Icelandic company Mýrdalshreppur ehf. The exact amount was not disclosed at the time of this writing.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir denies the siblings’ side of the story on this matter.

According to her account, a lawyer contacted the land owners in December 2019 at the behest of the Prime Minister. In the end, no agreement was reached, and “the land was not considered to be a top priority.” She did not disclose the difference between how much the owners wanted for the land, which has been in their family since the mid-19th century, and how much the government was willing to offer.

The plans that the new buyers have in mind for Hjörleifshöfði include mining, primarily for the sand in its capacity for industrial use, and tourism development.

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