Hans Christian Andersen sculpture to be buried

Saturday October 8th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Odense Harbour

You are hereby invited to attend a somewhat humorous funeral-event, where, in the company of other good people, we are going to bury my big sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen in Odense Harbour.

There will be a special funeral brew, a brass band, a male voice choir and eulogies. What´s not to like? The beer is sponsored by the restaurant Druen & Bønnen and Brygselv.dk will brew a special H.C.A. Funeral Beer.

Attire: Since this is a funeral, I strongly recommend appropriate black/dark attire, and perhaps a dark hat (preferably a top hat like the one Hans Christian Andersen wore). Also, in case of rain, please bring a black umbrella.

I hope to see you there. J


Programme for Saturday October 8th 2011

2 p.m.: We´ll meet at Flakhaven where there will be eulogies, brass music and a male voice choir singing sombre songs.

2:45 p.m.: The sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen is lifted on to a hearse and the funeral procession begins. We will march slowly towards Odense Harbour. The choir will sing and the band will play New Orleans funeral jazz.

3:30 p.m.: The funeral procession arrives at Odense Harbour. The sculpture is hoisted up in the tall crane where Hans Christian Andersen, soaring above us, will witness his funeral. He is the lowered slowly into his watery grave and the sculpture is renamed Waiting for Better Times.

4 p.m.: Galschiot serves funeral beer and the band plays.

4:30 p.m.: The funeral is over and we leave the puzzled statue in the harbour.

A new tradition?

Hopefully this somewhat humorous funeral-event will be the beginning of a new annual tradition in Odense, where the statue of the poet will be exhumed and resurrected and the poet celebrated on his birthday April 2nd. The first time we do this will be April 2nd 2012. The sculpture will be paraded around Odense that he may witness for himself the state of his city. He will then be taken to the harbour and buried again.

Why join the funeral march?

There are many good reasons to attend this happening such as common curiosity, loathing of bureaucracy and politicians or maybe displeasure that the project The Storyteller’s Fountain has gone south. Maybe you have simply grown tired of the entire project itself as well as of Hans Christian Andersen and want to see both of them buried for good. Maybe you want a good beer and to be able to brag that you were there when the tradition began. Whatever the reason, you are welcome to join us.

My reason to bury the sculpture

After more than 6 years of work both I, the city council and the committee for the donations to the project have put the project on hold. It is very disappointing that the vision of creating a water-sculpture to illustrate the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen has come to an end.

We have had many and great expectations and have spent a considerable amount of energy on this project, so a proper burial is called for. The sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen itself costs 200,000 Euro and perhaps it could have been sold to another city, but I feel it is connected to Odense and I have decided that it should stay here whether the city wants it to or not. Who knows, maybe it will become a new tourist-attraction in Odense that can help draw people to the somewhat empty harbour.

Jens Galsciot, Banevaenget 22, 5270 Odense N, Denmark

Telephone: (0045) 6618 4058

E-mail: aidoh@aidoh.dk

Info: www.aidoh.dk


The story of The Storyteller's Fountain is in itself a sort of modern H.C. Andersen fairytale:
** First the inhabitants collected money. ** 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 worked.**  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 artist. ** Then the entire project was suspended in August 2011. ** And then the artist buried the sculpture in the harbour of Odense.