A statue of King Olav V at Oslo’s Holmenkollen ski arena will get back on track after its missing ski pole was found. Staff noticed the statue had been vandalized in mid-May, and the missing piece was recovered after a determined hunt by the artist’s nephew.
The two-metre-long bronze pole went missing from the king’s left hand. The statue shows Olav V and his dog Troll out for a ski, and was unveiled by the late king himself 30 years ago to mark his 80th birthday.
Artist Annasif Døhlen’s nephew Ivar Skjaastad, himself a sculptor, was asked by the Oslo municipality if he could make a new ski pole. Skjaastad visited the statue to take measurements. “I had decided in advance to do a search for the pole,” he told newspaper Aftenposten. “I worked as a diver in my youth, and did a systematic search in the way I learned then. To my great surprise I found the pole, broken and bent and stuck in the joints of a stone wall. I thought at first it was a reinforcement bar.”
The pole was broken in two pieces. “The damage is consistent with a truck (hitting it), there was no paint damage from a normal car on it,” Skjaastad said. “Here someone has stuck it into the wall with great force to hide it there, it was not a coincidence that it fell right there.”
“It may have been vandalism, but we still don’t know what has happened,” said Oslo’s statute conservator Lilly Vikki. The pole was taken to a workshop for repairs. “We will consider if it can be welded in place. I think and hope that we can weld it together at the break.”