A number worth remembering: 54
54 square metres of mirrors have been installed on a mountain in Norway to light up a little village at the bottom of a narrow valley.
The village of Rjukan in Norway has a bit of a problem – for six months of the year, the mountain above stops the winter sun reaching its 3,500 inhabitants. This has been going on for a century, ever since a local factory decided to found the little village to take advantage of the nearby waterfalls. But the curse on Rjukan has now been broken once and for all. A few weeks ago, the sun’s rays finally managed to penetrate its narrow streets. This mini-miracle was almost entirely due to the tireless work of one Martin Andersen, a Norwegian artist who spent years promoting a rather crazy idea – putting mirrors on the 400 metre-high mountain ridge to reflect the light that the villagers so desperately needed. After months of work, three mirrors covering a surface of 51 square metres are now finally in place above Rjukan. The whole operation cost 610,000 euros – not an insignificant investment, but one that the village mayor reckons has already largely paid for itself in the boost to tourism generated by publicity.