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SWEDE OF THE WEEK

OFFBEAT

Teacher spreads word of giant butter knife

Although he does not have the world's biggest tub of butter nor the world's biggest sandwich to prove his work's worth, Swedish school teacher Claes Blixt hopes the Guinness Book of Records will spread the news of his enormous butter knife.

Teacher spreads word of giant butter knife
The man with the biggest knife in the world

“Big is always fun, everything that is big is fun,” Claes Blixt told The Local about his 248-centimetre, 28.5 kilogramme butter knife.

The word butter knife either conjures up images of a Downton Abbeyesque silver implement, with a curlicue edge ready to dip into butter pre-sliced by servants. Or the rough-handled French kind, with bone handle and a blade broad as a spatula to scoop up the delightful spread. In Scandinavia, however, butter knives look like an accident from woodwork class. Which is rather apt, as Blixt is a part-time woodworking teacher.

“I just felt I had to let go and dare to make a really big butter knife,” he said. “My students think it’s hilarious that I’m trying to break the world record.”

IN PICTURES: See more images of Claes Blixt’s butter knife

He has muddled through the giant application form to be included in the Guinness Book of Records, with two local officials and one engineer testifying to the butter knife being true to its normal proportions. Furthermore, it has to be usable.

“Of course, ideally I’d have a giant packet of butter and a really big sandwich to prove it with,” Blixt said.

SEE ALSO: A list of The Local’s past Swedes of the Week

Having posed happily with his enormous implement across Swedish newspapers for days, Blixt’s 18-year-old daughter pointed out on Facebook it was a fantastic way to attract women.

“She’s used to my craziness, rather than embarrassed,” said Blixt, who always has a project on the go.

Last year, he invited his students to design their own coffins, while also designing his own, with handles in the shape of kayaks. It is not, however, big enough to accommodate the butter knife if he were to fall dead tomorrow, but he underlined that he wanted the butter knife to go on tour. Its first outing is at a village fete in nearby Tranemo, southern Sweden.

It will take between six and eight weeks to receive word from the record-keepers if the knife makes it into the book, and until then he is putting his faith in the fact that no one outside of Scandinavia would likely start sawing, gluing and sandpapering two huge chunks of oak and white beech tree.

“I’ll have to go in and check so no one in Dubai has woken up and decided to make a butter knife,” he laughs.

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here

Editor’s Note: The Local’s Swede of the Week is someone in the news who – for good or ill – has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

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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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