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Statue of King Haakon VII damaged during relocation

A large statue of King Haakon VII of Norway, the present King’s grandfather, suffered minor damage when it was dropped on the ground by mistake today in Kristiansand, in southern Norway. According to the project manager responsible for replacing the statue, this error was caused by the machine lifting the bust.

“The statue was almost in place, and only millimetres remained,” one of the workers explained to the Norwegian state television channel NRK. At the last moment, the machine lost grip, and the statue popped into the air and went on the ground. Fortunately, the statue of the famous monarch was hanging back a bit. Therefore, the damage was limited.

The statue of King Haakon has been in Kristiansand since 1953. Photo: NB via Wikimedia Commons.

The statue King Haakon VII, made of bronze, stands on a granite block on the square in Kristiansand and spans out over the area where school children celebrate every Norwegian National Day. However, the statue has not been there since autumn 2015. Then, it was moved to make room for the extensive work under and above the ground. A large parking facility is being built under the square in Kristiansand.

The people of the town had hoped the statue would be back for this year’s National Day celebration, which is 17 May. Now, it seems that one must wait another year before celebrating National Day together with the statue of the King who led Norway through the Second World War.

According to those responsible for returning the statue to the square, it had minor damage on the ankle. The statue has now shipped to a warehouse. The press was told on Tuesday evening that they are already in the process of finding a suitable repairman to fix the damage. This incident happened the day after King Haakon’s grandson, current King Harald, visited Kristiansand after being delayed for more than two hours due to heavy snow over eastern Norway. Today, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit also visited Kristiansand where she opened the Children’s Film Festival.

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