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Freya, the Walrus Killed by Norwegian Officials, Is Immortalized as a Sculpture

When a 1,300-pound walrus showed up in Oslo last summer, lounging on a pier and eating mussels, she became a beloved local delight and an overnight international media sensation.

A rare visitor to Norwegian capital Norway, the walrus was named Freya after the Norwegian goddess of love, beauty and war.

Freya spent time in densely populated areas. There she was on the boat herself, ignoring her warnings to keep her distance from the authorities. Some of them were threatened with sinking because of her weight.

Norwegian authorities declared Freya a threat to human safety last August and killed her in a move critics say was too hasty. Her death divided a country associated with diplomacy and love of nature.

A sculpture in her memory called ‘For Our Sins’ was unveiled at Oslo’s Kongen Marina on Saturday.

Astri Tonoianthe Norwegian artist spent months creating sculptures based on photographs of animals. He said he wanted to create a surrounding controversy that talks about the human ability to

“We have to practice coexistence” between people and wildlife, Tonoian said.

The bronze sculpture is a life-size depiction of Freya and weighs approximately 650 pounds, about half her actual weight due to her hollow interior. Her campaign online, which raised $25,000, supported the creation of the work.

This sculpture will “will be a constant reminder to ourselves (and future generations) that if nature is ‘in the way’ we cannot or should always kill it to get rid of it.” ‘, writes Hans-Eric Holm, organizer of the fundraising website. its website.

“I wanted to do it by people for people,” Holm said in a telephone interview on Sunday, adding, “This is a statement to the government.”

Tonoian said the Congen marina is near where Freya was euthanized, as well as a museum she called “a symbol of knowledge.”

The Norwegian Fisheries Directorate said: in a statement In August, Freya was euthanized in a “humane way” because “it was likely to cause harm to humans and animal welfare was not maintained.”

At that time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications published a photo Crowds of people gathered around Freya, getting close enough to touch her, quoting a veterinary expert, who said, “The walrus seemed stressed by all the attention.”

“In the end, we had no other choice,” agency spokesperson Olav Lekver said at the time. “She was in an unnatural place for her.”

Tonoian said the sculpture is a realistic rendering even for those lucky enough to get a glimpse of Freya.

She said she was particularly moved when the blind man came to the unveiling on Saturday.

“He had no idea what walruses were like,” she said, but now “he joined this conversation about walruses by feeling and sensing walruses.”

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