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Stockholm reeling from giant chipmunk shocker

Rebecca Martin · 22 Nov 2011, 15:34

Published: 22 Nov 2011 15:34 GMT+01:00

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”They had a permit for a tree and four Santas. The chipmunks will be gone before the end of the week,” said Per Anders Hedkvist of the Traffic division at Stockholm City Council to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Tuesday.

The unveiling of this year's Christmas lights had been planned as a large scale affair, with a choir singing and speeches held near Svampen, on Stureplan, in the posh Stockholm district of Östermalm.

However, the central display, which was placed on top of the mushroom-like concrete structure that gives the area its name, soon came in for criticism from those who expected Christmas decorations rather than advertising for an American children's film soon to première in Sweden.

”I thought I was witnessing something historical. But all I feel is used and dirty,” said disgruntled onlooker Anna to DN.

The city councillor who did the unveiling of the display was also shocked to be met with giant rodents instead of the more traditional display that she was expecting.

”I was very surprised at the unveiling of the display, because in the application it was described as Christmas decorations,” Ulla Hamilton, city councillor for traffic told trade paper Resumé.

”This was not at all in line with the permits we had issued,” Hamilton told the paper.

After a meeting between the Stockholm City council Traffic division and the organization City i Samverkan (City in Cooperation), responsible for the planning of Christmas lights and decorations around the city, on Tuesday afternoon, they agreed that the organization had no permit for the Alvin display.

It is not clear how wires were crossed between the city and the organization. However, according to the city council, councillors were aware that the organization was working with sponsors, but not of the final plans devised for Svampen.

”City i Samverkan has not been able to give me a clear picture of how it all got away from them in the end, but they were the first to express regret that something had gone wrong,” said Hedkvist.

However, he said that the organization is an important partner for the city.

Story continues below…

”We'll put it behind us and continue onwards, as soon as the chipmunks are gone,” Hedkvist told DN.

The Local's attempts to reach City i Samverkan's CEO Per Eriksson have so far been unsuccessful.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:06 November 22, 2011 by Opinionfool
The expected outcome of the Disneyfication of culture, goes with the MacDonaldsonisation of cuisine both crap.
16:20 November 22, 2011 by BrittInSweden
Wow, Swede's need to get out more.

The "traditional Christmas scene with Santa" is an American "invention".

At least Alivin and the Chipmunks are different.
16:30 November 22, 2011 by Opinionfool

But still an "American invention."
16:40 November 22, 2011 by Cosme Fulanito
Replace the chipmunks with Santa Claus and then go and buy a Coca Cola
16:51 November 22, 2011 by Shibumi
Coca-Cola did not invent Santa... this is a common misconception.

22:36 November 22, 2011 by hugedingleberry
This reminds me of Mr. Hankey's Christmas on South Park. 'A very crappy Christmas'
02:55 November 23, 2011 by hughknows

Hmmm... Do we live in the same Stockholm? The one I live in still has an abundance of historic churches and shameless capitalists. Even many rabidly socialist anti-American student types nonetheless spend outrageous amounts of money on this season's clothing fashions, stop in for a McDonald's meal whilst drunk in the wee small hours, and will probably eventually Christen their kids in the Swedish church like the rest of their family... I don't think Santa's going to cause riots this year, nor should he. :)
06:56 November 23, 2011 by NachoMan
Tell me, is Santa Claus more or less fictitious than Alvin and the Chipmunks?
07:35 November 23, 2011 by Already in use
The difference between the American Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas who makes his appearance in some European countries is that the former comes Dec 25, and the latter Dec 6th. Other than that, they're pretty much the same. The red nosed deer is an American addition though. In any case, look, the chipmunks are UGLY. I mean, if they wish they can put beavers there or moose for that matter, but at least something pretty.
07:50 November 23, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Santa Claus is in the public domain. Alvin and the Chipmunks are intellectual property with exclusive rights reserved for earning cold hard cash.
09:26 November 23, 2011 by Opinionfool
@already in use

Bit cold to put beavers on show don't you think?
10:11 November 23, 2011 by Åskar

As long as the beavers are furry it's OK.
10:12 November 23, 2011 by StockholmSam
10 points to Marc the Texan!!
10:16 November 23, 2011 by BrittInSweden
@Already in use

Also, didn't Saint Nicholas dress in green and not red.

Santa in red came later.
14:58 November 23, 2011 by skogsbo
"I felt used and dirty", it's only christmas decorations, which is a complete myth anyway, and their be another one in 13months time, some people really do need more in their lives.

St Nic was allegedly the patron saint of prostitutes, hence the xmas stockings, but not all parts of the tradition seem to be promoted.
15:28 November 23, 2011 by Opinionfool

Well yes, a shaved beaver would really feel the cold. :-)
12:12 December 24, 2011 by rumcajs
American, Swedish, Chinese.... I don't care; Alvin has NOTHING to do with Christmas!!! That's why it was an idiotic idea!!!
11:23 January 7, 2012 by Johno
"I felt used and dirty", that bit I don't get.
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