Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 3 mánaða gömul.

Statue removed from rocket

17.05.2022 - 16:00
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristinn Þeyr - RÚV
A statue (made in 1939 by Ásmundur Sveinsson), called The First White Mother in America, depicting Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir—believed to be one of the world’s best-travelled women around the year 1000—was stolen in March from its home on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland.

She is thought to be the first woman of European origin to give birth in North America, and a copy of the statue is on display in the Vatican. 

It turned out the statue had been stolen by two artists (Bryndís Björnsdóttir and Steinnun Gunnlaugsdóttir) who say the statue is racist. They set the statue up inside their own artowork, in the form of a rocket, outside a modern art gallery in Reykjavík and refused to return it, despite pleas to do so.

They say times change and what was not considered racist in decades gone by are no longer acceptable. When an old artwork is incorporated into a new artwork, it turns out both have certain rights and after police confiscated the rocket, West Iceland District Court denied permission to damage the new piece. The Landsréttur appeals court later overturned that decision, however, and Guðríður was removed from her rocket yesterday. She is expected to return to Snæfellsnes soon.

Speaking in March, Snæfellsbær mayor Kristinn Jónasson said: "We were very surprised, of course, when we discovered this. We couldn’t believe it. Who could have done this? We feared the worst: that someone had stolen it just to melt it down or something. But then we found out that there were two artists who said they had stolen the piece. And we weren’t very happy to hear that.”

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristín Sigurðardóttir - RÚV

Yesterday, Guðríður was taken half way home, to Akranes, where she was removed from her rocket.

“Very happy. Good that she has at least come back into my care again,” Kristinn said yesterday.

And how do you feel about her? Is she in one piece?

“There is nothing wrong with the statue itself, but the anchors it was fixed to the plinth on, they are broken, and we need to look into making new anchors. That might be a bit fiddly for us.” 

Will there be any cost involved in that?

“Yes. It needs new anchors drilling and cementing in place. The working out and the doing. It all costs money.” 

And do you expect to get that back from those who took the statue?

“I am going to try, at least.” 

Finally, very briefly, what do you think of this incident, overall?

“Ridiculous!”

 

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristín Sigurðardóttir - RÚV