That says the lawyer representing the operators of the glacier ice grotto

For years, fleece has been laid out on the Rhone Glacier to keep a tourist ice grotto in operation. We spoke to the lawyer who represents the operators of the grotto on the Rhone Glacier.

The outdated tarpaulins – called shrouds by evil tongues – give an ugly picture. For years, the authorities have looked the other way, but now a case has been opened. What do the operators of the ice grotto on the Rhone Glacier say? We spoke to the lawyer representing the operators.

How do you feel about the fact that some people are bothered by the nonwovens?

I would like to say in advance that I personally am neither the owner nor the operator of the ice grotto and that there are no legal proceedings against me due to environmental protection regulations, as was wrongly and unjustifiably published by a newspaper several weeks ago without asking the operator.

Can you understand why these people consider the fleece to be a disfigurement of the glacier?

There are always activists who are against many things, even if they try to protect the ice from melting even faster with fleece or the [activists] don't want an ice grotto at all. Still others have great understanding. Quite a few find the fleece covers very attractive from the artistic side and make photo or video installations with public exhibitions mostly dedicated to climate change.

What will happen to the ice grotto in the future? Will you put away the fleeces when the ice melts away?

Due to the recent death of the Ice Cave owner and property owner, ownership and ownership must first be re-established, which has not yet been done, in order to decide on the future of the Ice Cave and tourist attractions and how to proceed with fleece coverings. Tomorrow, Sunday [October 23.10.2022, XNUMX], by the way, the ice grotto will already be closed, because in a few days the Furka Pass road will probably also be approaching winter and snow will soon fall.

When can it be expected that things will be cleaned up?

This summer and last summer, fleece that was no longer needed was always cleared away and given to artists for installations. This spring, however, due to the exceptionally early snowmelt and the extremely high summer temperatures, it was not possible to remove fleece webs in the area of ​​the newly formed glacial lake for safety reasons (breaking of glacial ice).

To what extent are you in contact with the canton's environmental office in this regard? Were you asked to take action?

Personally, I was never contacted by the canton's environmental department. It may also be mentioned that the fleece material used for the cover is environmentally friendly and harmless, as is also proven by an expert report that the main supplier made available to us. I will send you the relevant environmental safety assessment.

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Credits: Cover photo Raphael Imsand

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