Someone has tried once again to saw through the ankle of Norway’s iconic bronze sculpture of an angry little boy in Oslo’s Frogner Park. This time, however, the vandals may have been captured on surveillance cameras.
The small sculpture called Sinnataggen, which depicts a naked little boy having a temper tantrum, was attacked during the night at the end of the long Easter holiday weekend. The sculpture, created by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland in 1928, has long been one of the biggest tourist attractions in Oslo and is also much-loved by Norwegians themselves.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Tuesday afternoon that now the City of Oslo, responsible for the massive collection of Vigeland statues in the park, will need to remove Sinnataggen (called both “Angry Boy” and “Spitfire” in English) from his pedestal for repairs and conservation.
The damage isn’t as great as it was on New Year’s Eve 1991-1992, when vandals not only sawed through the same ankle but also stole the sculpture, leaving only the little’s boy’s left foot behind. The rest of him was later recovered, repaired and put back on display in the park until 2004, when someone else tried to break Sinnataggen’s left ankle.
In 2012 park officials found the sculpture covered in red paint. It has also suffered from too many people keen on holding Sinnataggen’s hand, often while having their pictures taken.
“We want the public to have access to Vigeland’s art and close contact with it, and it’s very sad that this happens,” said Jarle Strømodden, leader of the nearby Vigeland Museum. “We hope to solve this latest case quickly, and that the sculpture can come back as soon as possible.”
It’s mounted on a bridge in the park along with 57 others created by the prolific Vigeland between 1928 and 1933. They all depict children, women and men in different age groups.
This latest vandalism has been reported to Oslo Police, as a case of willful damage to a protected cultural monument. The park is equipped with security cameras at various locations, and their film will be turned over to police to aid their investigation.