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I know that there has been conflicts between scientists and the native population. Astronomers want to build new telescopes on Mauna Kea, however, several sacred sites would have to be built on.

My question is, are there any current plans to move forward with the observatories, or have they reached a gridlock?

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You're talking about the construction of the 'Thirty Meter Telescope'.
Currently the construction has been halted by the State Supreme Court of Hawaii as a reaction to the violation of native sacred land.

Negotiations are going on about moving the construction site to the canary Islands, which has been deemed an acceptable alternative in the northern hemisphere, even if only barely.

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