The great H.C.A. sculpture has actually stood in the town hall
square of the city
(Flakhaven) for the last 5 years where it is
probably the most often photographed sculpture in Odense. Originally the
sculpture was to have been part of The
Storyteller's Fountain, a Hans Christian Andersen water sculpture which was to be
composed of several hundreds of connected sculptures illustrating
Andersen's complex fairytale universe. However this project is now
The sculpture was supposed to be an interactive sculpture around which a storyteller
tradition would evolve. Therefore it was a necessary condition that the
sculpture be placed in the centre of Odense, which many people, including
the store owners of the inner city, were looking forward to.
A common collection committee, the city council and a local fund
succeeded in raising all the money for the project. The municipality was asked to
find a suitable place but then everything came to a standstill - due to
the financial crisis the fund collapsed, the city council cut back on
their contribution - on the other hand, in August 2011 the administration
found four altogether unsuitable places far away from the centre.
The project is now suspended in agreement with of the common collection
committee who believe they would let down the local donors, if they
accepted a place outside the centre. Galschiot has instead decided to
literally bury the sculpture.
"At one point the culture department talked about placing the
sculpture by Odense harbour in order to attract tourists to the area. Now
that the project is definitively suspended, I think I will comply with
their wish - maybe not in the way that they had expected but on the other
hand, it won’t cost them anything" says the artist with a little smile and adds: "I think it is a very suitable
ending to put The Storyteller's Fountain to rest by creating a new
"By the way, I will exhume the
sculpture again in order to take part in a small resurrection ceremony on
Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday April 2nd 2012. Then we can
drive him to the city centre where he can gaze upon the city for a week
or so, and then he will probably be reburied", concludes Galschiot who has just
bought one hundred bottles of French Champagne for the resurrection. He
hopes that this burial/resurrection happening will be an annual tradition
The story of The Storyteller's Fountain is in itself a sort of modern H.C.
** First the inhabitants collected
** Then the town council unanimously
granted 4 million DKK and a local fund gave 2.5 million.
** Now the administrators of the
city were asked to find a place for the unequalled artwork.
** Then everything was brought into
a standstill for several years, while the civil servants of the city
** 2 years later the financial
crisis occurred, and the local fund collapsed because of speculations on
the stock market, and when the clever civil servants and politicians had
not yet collected the 2.5 million, the money simply disappeared .*
* But then the local authority
realized that they also needed money, and so they took 3 millions from
the cash box dedicated to the sculpture.
** After 4 years the civil servants
had finally found some suitable locations. But! Now most of the money was
lost leaving only 2 million, and the sculpture had to be decimated into
being just a shadow of its former self.
** However the administrators' suggestions
for the placement of the sculpture were all far, far away from the city
centre, and therefore they could not honor the intentions about creating
a living storyteller tradition in the centre of the city as desired from
the common collection committee, the local community as well as the
** Then the entire project was
suspended in August 2011.
And then the artist buried the
sculpture in the harbour of Odense.
For more information:
Free photos of the sculpture:
to the artist:
Jens Galschiot, Banevaenget 22, DK-5270 Odense
6618 4058, Fax +45 6618 4158, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
to the Town Council of Odense:
+ 45 6613 1372
About Jens Galschiot:
Jens Galschiot, Denmark, born
1954, sculptor. He stakes his art to defend the ethical values of
our society, regardless of political, religious or economic interests.
His sculptures suddenly appear in public areas and start the performance.
Best known are My Inner Beast (European cities in 1993) and the Pillar of
Shame (Hong Kong, Mexico and Brazil).
The projects are financed, partly by individuals and
organizations, but the larger part of the finances come from the sale of
Galschiot's bronze sculptures to art collectors all over the world. He
has a huge industrial area in Odense, Denmark with a bronze foundry,
gallery and workshop.
Info www.aidoh.dk and Photos of all Jens Galschiot's sculptures: