One of the most famous works of art in Scandinavia has been removed from public display after sustaining serious damage. Vandals damaged the bronze sculpture Sinnataggen in Oslo’s Vigeland Park by attempting to saw through its standing leg.
Oslo city bosses have reported the vandalism to the police as the sculpture has protected cultural monument status. The sculpture—depicting an angry young boy—is the most famous of the 200+ sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) on public display in western Oslo.
Statue removed for renovation
In a press release, the City of Oslo’s culture department said the sculpture has now been removed for research and conservation.
“We want the public to have close access to the art of Vigeland so it is a shame that something like this happens. We hope to resolve the matter quickly and return the sculpture to the bridge as soon as possible,” said Vigeland museum director Jarle Strømodden.
Not the first time
This is not the first time that the sculpture’s fame has drawn vandals. The sculpture has been vandalised by paint several times. It was spray painted in 1995, painted white in 2006 and pink the following year. In 2012, the sculpture was vandalized with red oil paint.
It’s not clear whether this latest attack was an attempted theft, but it wouldn’t be the first time. In 1992, the sculpture was successfully stolen but found soon afterwards. The sculpture was replaced with a more secure fixing.
The famous sculptures of Oslo
The bronze, granite and cast iron sculptures that Visit Oslo calls “an evocative tribute to humankind in all its complexity” typically attract more than one million annual visitors. The park is free to enter and is open year-round, 24 hours a day.
Living in Oslo for most of his adult life, Vigeland was supported by the city with the agreement that his life’s work would be donated to the city upon his death. He designed and oversaw the sculptures and also the design and architectural outline of the park.
The angry boy is one of 58 bronze sculptures of women, men and children mounted on the sculpture park bridge. Modelled in the period 1925-1933 and installed in 1940, it was among the first sculptures to be installed in the park.