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OFFBEAT

Use music to help Swedish teens poo, urges politician

Are Swedish teenagers too afraid of embarrassing noises to go to the toilet at school?

Use music to help Swedish teens poo, urges politician
May we suggest Abba's Water-loo...? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

That's what a politician in the small town of Tingsryd, Sweden, thinks.

In a proposal to the council she therefore suggests installing music in the municipality's school toilets, arguing that some students are so embarrassed they refuse to answer the call of nature all day.

“I don't think it's just about No. 2 on the toilet, but many also don't do No. 1,” Centre Party councillor Cecilia Cato told The Local.

“I've worked in the world of education for many years and know through the students that this is a problem, above all in junior and senior high school.”

“I myself experienced this when I was young and now that it's being talked about many others confirm that they did too. It's not something you talk completely openly about…”

Public broadcaster SVT spoke to teenagers in Tingsryd who admitted they did not go to the toilet during school hours.

“It would be embarrassing if it could be heard from the outside,” said one student, adding that she would prefer music over running the tap to cover up the sound of… well, you know.

Cato's suggested model is based on toilets at a newly built music high school in the town, which has music in all toilets. Her proposal will now have to be voted on by the local authority before it goes ahead.

“Of course there won't be music in toilets everywhere, but I also think it is a maturity thing that most people are able to handle in the future,” she said.

“High school is a sensitive period in life and when you get older I think that you are able to do both No. 1 and No. 2 on toilets that don't cover up the sound.”

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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