10 April 2010

Only in Copenhagen?

The classic Copenhagen tradition of leaving statues fresh flowers, has been taken to a new level. All the statues surrounding the lakes, is holding handmade paper flowers. The Nile is always the first to get the attention, as the rules of man apparently also apply to statues: he with the most kids wins. But this time The Tiber, on the opposite corner is included. And the Young People Sitting (with a paper bag on the head, not too long ago), got a flower too, and then some...

You know how I feel, but I have to say it anyway: it is NOT okay to paint directly on the beautiful old statues, it just breaks my heart. And besides being disrespectful to the art, to history and to the people who enjoy the statue every day, the offence is also on a creative level: it is so utterly uninventive. Not like making your own flowers, and spreading the love. Or like the brilliant new way of promoting an upcoming Danish movie, in the streets: with a necklace of film.

Is it customary to paint on sculptures in any other part of the world? Or is it just in Copenhagen? And would you interrupt the deed if you had the chance?

The she wolf of The Tiber, across from The Nile.

Alternative promoting of a new Danish movie, with a link to the facebook group.

Young People Sitting (1942), and Young People Hugging (2010)


  1. I'm with you. Painting on statues is so disrespectful of the art. I live in an area of the USA with little statuary. I'd be curious to know if some of our metropolitan areas have trouble with that. I just have to say--those paper flowers are a nice touch! And your last photo is terrific!!

  2. Hi Mrs. E,
    Thank you for the compliment. I am also genuinely interested to hear how the statues are treated in other parts of the world, I really hope someone will bring us a status update on that. Good to hear from you! :-) Sandra

  3. i never noticed vandanlism on statues in paris or zürich. even ny. but it's just maybe that the city spends a lot of money preventing/cleaning it. i love the flowers and the ad for the film too. i really love to divert the existing art and do something else with it, it's like it has different purposes, the original one and the ones you want to give to it.

  4. When I think about Paris and the other places I have seen, I can not recall statue vandalism either. But it could just be my timing.. The funny thing is when people interact with the statues in a non harmful way, it really makes me happy. Remember the rainbows in the snow? :-)

  5. Vandalism on statues is seldom, I would say, but it happenes, unfortunately :-(
    Vandalism or graffiti on beautiful old houses or walls is very often here in Germany.

    What I like and appreciate (event though it is not legal) are really great, colourful graffitis on boring concrete walls or in the subway. But in the subway it is often "order work".

  6. hi Ulrike,
    I also appreciate graffiti on concrete, it is the perfect medium. As always it is about picking the right canvas. I am happy to get an update on Germany too, we are getting there on the world wide survey.. :-)


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