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Bird-chasing guards rip palace painting with bamboo sticks

Bamboo-wielding guards at the royal palace in Stockholm have damaged a portrait of the first Bernadotte king while in hot pursuit of a renegade jackdaw, TV4 reports.

Bird-chasing guards rip palace painting with bamboo sticks
Fredric Westin's 1838 portrait of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte

The jackdaw snuck into the royal cabinet meeting room via an open chimney. Royal guards, who were armed with bamboo sticks, chased the bird into the room as it flew directly at the painting.

In their attempts to apprehend the flying fugitive, the guards ripped a hole in Fredric Westin’s 1838 portrait of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who reigned as King Karl XIV of Sweden February 5, 1818 until his death on March 8, 1844.

The fate of the jackdaw remains unknown, but TV4 reported that the Royal Court now plans to put a net over the chimneys to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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