A Day of Visiting Statues

Statues,  statues, and more statues. This could be the theme of our day in Copenhagen today.   We started out in what appeared to be a little known exhibition called The Lapidarium of the Kings. The concept of the exhibit is that over the centuries Danish kings used sculptures in public spaces, gardens, palaces, and castles to show power.  Within 50-350 years outside though, statues fall into serious disrepair. Why then do statues sometimes look so perfect? This museum housed in what was once Christian the IV' brewery gave us a glimpse into the world that is statue restoration.

This is a new exhibition and we had almost the whole place to ourselves.  Walking over old sandy cobblestones, we found ourselves in what might be a sculptor's restoration studio. Each room, some quite musty, had a theme whether it was fruit facades, horse statues, or statues of people. We learned that to restore them, they are covered in silicone and a plaster cast is made. Then the stone cutter goes to work. There was an excellent video to explain it all, but it was in Danish with no subtitles.

Next we saw an exhibit called April 9 which told about the invasion of Germany during WWII at 4:00am. The Danish were overwhelmed and surrendered in four hours. It was just a small exhibit with mostly guns and uniforms, but there was a huge searchlight on display.

The last time we were in Copenhagen we visited the  Ny Carleberg Glyptotek. It's a museum with artifacts from ancient Egypt and Rome as well as a few beautiful paintings by Van Gogh and Monet.

My favorite was a painting by Van Gogh that showed a wheat field in Saint Remy in France. The colors were stunning.

When  we first walked in, though, there was room after room of more statues.  I noticed that most of the busts, and there were hundreds, did not have a nose.  They actually had a display of noses behind glass to explain that originally artists restored the noses, but people complained the busts were no longer authentic so they took them off.  The Egyptian section was amazing. To get to the section of Egyptian funerary art, you descend a dimly lit stairway into a small room with mummies and artifacts found in tombs.

Lunch today was in the museum. In the Danish tradition, sandwiches were made with brown bread and were open face. Delicious! The cafe is overlooking an atrium decorated with palm trees and a fish pond. 

I spotted a gift shop near our hotel called Hans Christian Anderson. As I was admiring the bright red and blue wooden soldiers in their miniature sentries and some lovely wooden ducks wearing brightly painted Cath Kidston style rain boots with polka dots, I saw a man dressed in a dark suit wearing a top hat ready to read a book. He turned his head toward me so I scurried out of the store to avoid being trapped at story hour.  On the way out I glanced back in the window and laughed to myself. It was an automated mannequin.

Tonight was a laundry night. We hiked about 20 minutes to find the launderette and thank goodness there was someone else there who could explain the process of getting soap, and operating the washer and dryer all from a central control panel with directions in Danish. It's late now, but back at the hotel people are strolling down the walkway on the water's edge to see the Little Mermaid. It's another statue and this one we'll see tomorrow!


Susan Erickson said…
Fascinating statue stories!

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