– History repeats itself – Dagsavisen

– History repeats itself – Dagsavisen

On Monday morning, the capital woke up to a new artwork in the Oslofjord. In the center of Björvik was a walrus on a floating jetty that was unmistakably like Freya (see the fact box below the case).

Like the “real” Freya, the idol arrived unannounced. That’s the whole point of the stunt, explains artist Astri Donoyan.

– The goal was to shed light on what happened the last time Freya appeared. “We tried to see if the situation would repeat itself, or if there had been any development in the community since the past,” he says.

It is well known that the walrus Freya was euthanized last summer after months of roaming the Oslofjord. This time the “subtraction” took place over a day. The statue was removed on Tuesday morning.

Here’s a video made by nature filmmaker Ulf Myhrwald that shows the inception of the Freya statue:

Besides Astri Donoyan, Erik Holm, who launched a fundraising campaign for the statue, and Christian Ringnes, an entrepreneur and art collector, were behind Monday’s stunt. According to Donoyan, it was Ringness, a good friend of the swamp-dwelling artist, who made sure it all came true.

– He has a clear view of the world and is fair and fearless. He says that such a feeling goes well with the power of artistic expression and expression.

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As a result, the statue was removed

The statue attracted a lot of attention when it suddenly appeared in the sea near the Opera House on Monday, and several media outlets wrote about the stunt. Initially it was not known who put up the statue, but Daxavisen was the first to reveal who was behind it that day.

The goal was to see how people would react to a walrus near Oslo half a year after Freya was euthanized. The police felt that there was no danger to life and health this time. In a post on Instagram, the Maritime Service of the Oslo Police District wrote that they had to give it up.

The new “Freya”, on the other hand, was deemed to pose a risk by the Port of Oslo, which is responsible for maritime security in the harbor area. They were the ones who removed the idol on Tuesday morning.

At that time, the municipality did not know who placed the statue. They did not know if the floating jetty where it was located had drifted ashore or if the jetty was in danger of floating or sinking.

– So our assessment was to remove the statue for safety reasons, says Siv Elan Omland, Communications Manager of Oslo Harbor KF.

The statue is now safe in Oslo harbor. They have promised that Astri Donoyan will return her artwork.

According to Omland, they are open to allowing the artworks to be returned to the sea, but then an application must be made first. According to Donoyan, that’s completely out of the question.

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– As a stunt, it would not have been appropriate to apply to bring her back to the opera. The power of the concept lay in its unheralded arrival. Now she will have a safe harbor at Konkan Marina in bronze form. The Stunt model was already required by a public educational institution. He says the Port of Oslo is more than welcome to apply for a copy if they want to return it to the sea.

– History repeats itself

Freya the artist is disappointed that the statue is not allowed to stand alone – despite being displayed without permission.

Astri Donoyan didn't venture to guess how many hours of work he put into the project.  Here she sculpts the original form after the clay casting, which is sent to the bronze foundry.

– I think the Port of Oslo has a golden opportunity to join an important social debate here. Instead, in a symbolic sense, we saw history repeating itself.

Erik Holm, who started a fundraising campaign to raise money for the Freya statue, was disappointed when Oslo Harbor removed the artwork.

– It’s sad, but expected, he says.

– Perhaps the worst kept secret is that we are the ones behind the statue. It wouldn’t have been difficult to contact us and ask how safe it is, he adds.

Both Donoyan and Holm are surprised that Oslo Harbor has removed the floating jetty with the statue. It was well connected with the seabed.

– The statue is displayed professionally and safely. The jetty was protected by two heavy moorings. The construction workers and divers who set it up for us said it was impossible to move the raft, so they must have used impressive tools to loosen it, says the artist.

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The statue that appeared on the floating jetty is made of plaster and is not the same statue that will be unveiled at Konkan Marina on April 29. There will be a version in bronze which, according to the artist, will have the same motif as the statue in Björvik. Although the matter is now known, Donoyan is keeping the artwork’s name close to his chest — for now.

He hopes the publication of the title will generate reactions.


Oslo 20220720. Freya the whale is still at Frognerkilen on Wednesday afternoon.  Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen / NTB
  • Freya is the name of a walrus that appeared in Oslofjord in the summer of 2022.
  • Before that, he had visited several countries, including the Netherlands and Denmark.
  • The female animal became a national celebrity, and many searched the harbor areas where she stayed.
  • It finally ended with the walrus being killed. Because there may be danger to the life and health of people.
  • Later, Erik Holm started a fundraising campaign to raise money for a statue of Freya. It will be launched on April 29 at Konkan Marina in Oslo.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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