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Elves cited among reasons to halt Iceland highway project

Dec. 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A group urging Icelandic officials to cancel a highway project cited the plight of hidden elves as a reason not to go forward with the road.

A group dubbed Friends of Lava is asking the Supreme Court of Iceland to stop the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission from having the highway built from the Alftanes peninsula, where President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer, the British newspaper the Independent reported Monday.

The group cites mainly environmental concerns as reasons not to build the highway, but they also cited the plight of "Huldufolk" or "hidden folk," the elves believed by some to inhabit the area. Activists said an elf church sits on the planned site of the highway.

University of Iceland experts said a 2007 survey indicated as much as 62 percent of Icelanders believed it to be at least possible that the elves exist.

Environmentalist Andri Snaer Magnason said the biggest concern about the highway would be having a lava field cut in two and destroying animal nesting sites. He said he was less concerned about elves, which he said he was not sure existed.

"Some feel that the elf thing is a bit annoying," Magnason said.

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