Monday, 13 June 2016
Mooning around Stockholm
In Gamla stan, the Old Town of Stockholm, there sits a statue of a boy looking at the moon. The figure is called Järnpojke, or Iron Boy, and was created in 1954 by Liss Eriksson. He takes a bit of finding, partly because he is tucked behind the Finnish Church, near the Stockholm Palace, and partly because the boy is only 15 centimetres (5.9 in) high (making him the smallest public monument of Stockholm).
With a little time to kill, and having heard about the statue, we wandered around Gamla stan, occasionally stopping to peer around the occasional church, in search of the right one. Eventually, we gave in and looked up it location online, because otherwise we could have been searching for hours. Seeing the figure, however, repays the effort. The boy may be small, and his features indistinct, but he is undoubtedly charming, and there can be no question but that he is looking at the moon.
When we arrived, we discovered (as is, apparently, the custom) that somebody had provided him with a small woollen hat (which I removed, only temporarily, for the picture, above, but then returned with care). In the winter, apparently, he is also given a small scarf to keep him warm against the Swedish cold, which appealed to me enormously, as I like the idea of a community collectively agreeing that what is, objectively, a lump of cast iron is, in fact, a person to be cared for.