Galschiot creates large monument for Aarhus Harbor
  1. Large monument for Aarhus Harbor
  2.  The Fundamentalism is to be placed at City Hall in Copenhagen
  3.  35 churches exhibit the refugee sculptures
  4.  Gerda and Ejnar (Lili Elbe) Wegener exhibition
  5.  75 exhibitions in 2016
It was the Danish artist Jens Galschiot who got the contract to create a large monument showing the manual labor for the Harbor of Aarhus with the working title “the Coffee Board”. The sculpture group is to be finished by the summer 2017, the year that Aarhus receives the title as “European City of Culture”. Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark.
The story leading up to signing the contract is a rather good one. It begins with a group of dockworkers who got the idea to make a sculpture, that could mark and bring remembrance to how the Harbor of Aarhus, in centuries, were influenced by the dockworker’s hard work loading the many ships.
Both the active and retired dockworkers meet regularly in worker’s Welfare House, which has existed since 1936, placed in the Inner Harbor. In this place stories are exchanged and old friendships are maintained. From the Welfare House the workers could follow the transformation of “their” old Harbor and workplace to new uses, where tourism, residences, educational institutions, pass time activities and café latte Cafés is taking over the harbor with growing speed. A development happening all over Europe.
In this Welfare House the idea to make a memorial, showing the workers of the Harbor, first occurred. A former dockworker, Palle Joergensen, took the initiative and formed the idea to put “Historical Traces”, in the form of a sculpture group, into motion. The idea was further developed by the Worker’s Union “LO Aarhus”, who formed the “Culture Group 2017” to realize the project. They contacted a number of artists and chose Galschiot’s idea “the Coffee Board” due to the following reason.
“Our ideas and thoughts are convincingly shown and used in the work we have been presented. This concerns the aesthetic and artistic creation, but also the fact that Jens Galschiot already has the capacity and experience to rise to the challenge and create a worthy sculpture in full size.”

The big problem is always the money. However the dockworkers surprised everybody  with their enormous amounts of ideas, resources and energy, which culminated with one of Denmark’s biggest Culture- and Art Foundations “the Salling Foundation” donating the 405.000 Euros needed to pay for the monument costs. The Foundation became the sole donator of the entire project, and owner of the Foundation, Karin Salling, explains their decision with the following statement: “The sculpture is a celebration and a reminder of the hard work, which, through centuries, has taken place on the harbor, and I am convinced that the sculpture will be the subject of admiration and joy for the people in the area.”

Galschiot and his workers are already well under way with the preparations. The engineer Lars Bredahl is doing calculations on the difficult structures, and experiments with Coffee Sacks and ropes are being conducted. During the next few months the sculpture will be taking form. It takes a huge amount of work to make a monument of this size, and even though August 2017 is a long time away, much of the hard work must begin already.
“This is an exciting task, and I am looking forward to start up the work on the sculpture. It takes a huge effort every time we venture into a project of this size, and we are preparing the workshop to embrace this challenge.  The workshop is already filled up with old photos of Coffee Sacks, loading and offloading of ships, and dockworkers, which are to inspire the actual creation of the sculpture group.”  - Jens Galschiot. See more on the project below.
But we are also occupied with a lot of other projects. We are making preparations for the 25 tons heavy Fundamentalism sculpture, which is to be the sculptural center in a dialogue- and art project concerning the monotheism’s dogma. The giant sculpture is to be exhibited at City Hall in Copenhagen for the event “Heavenly Days” from 5th – 8th May, which is a support event made to set focus on religiousness. In this regard groups of Galschiot’s copper refugees are already being exhibited in 35 churches in and around Copenhagen to highlight “Heavenly Days”, and begin the process of dialogue by showing quotations from the three monotheistic books, the Torah, The Bible, and the Koran.
In addition to these 45 exhibitions, we are preparing the work for 30 other art exhibitions, which we are currently involved in during 2016. This consists of, amongst other matters, not having two different claims on the same sculpture. :-)
We are having a small exhibition at Gallery Galschiot with some works of Gerda and Ejnar Wegener from Galschiot’s private collection to mark the movie “the Danish Girl” about Gerda and Ejnar (Lili Elbe), a movie which focuses on both art and the identity of the sexes. As always it is free to visit the Gallery, so you are welcome to come by if you are in the country, -  we’ll even provide a cup of coffee.
As you can see we are not bored, but we still have the time to enjoy the beginning of springtime.
Kindest Regards
Henriette Højmark Hansen
The idea of the monument and the creation.
The Coffee Board
The sculpture is built around a loading crew and is centered on a “Coffee Board”, where a crew of dockworkers is receiving a load of Coffee Sacks from an (imaginary) crane. The Coffee Sacks and the rope from the crane are levitating “freely” in the air and create the illusion of the ship and the cranes surrounding them.

In one end of the board a dockworker is loading a Coffee Sack onto the back of another dockworker, placed on the ground. Close by another dockworker is retrieving a dropped sack from the ground.
The sculpture is consisting of 7 copper persons in natural size.
The materials of the sculpture are copper, bronze and stainless steel.

Old photos
The basis of the sculpture is a selection of photos showing typical work situations on the Harbor of Aarhus, linked with dialogue between previous and current dockworkers and the “Culture Group 2017”. The theme of the illustration is the loading and offloading work on the harbor. This precise situation is an almost iconic image of the work, conducted through centuries, in all harbors. Thus making an almost timeless historic statement.
The sculptures artistic construction is relatively naturalistic. This artistic point of view will make the sculpture easily understandable, and will lay the ground for establishing a popular memorial in the center of the new harbor environment in Aarhus.

It is important that a historical sculpture, which illustrates the work on the Harbor of Aarhus, is easily recognizable and bring back some happy memories. The meeting with the past is both a contrast of and a basis for the modern harbor’s area.  The name “Historical Traces” is symbol of this. Contrasting the meeting between the hard manual labor and the modern mechanical handling, and the meeting between the industrial harbor and the city’s future use of the local harbor areas.

If you want to learn more about the project “Historical Traces on Aarhus Harbor” see info flyer, you are welcome to contact:

The project leader Palle Jorgensen
phone: +45 26179886, mail:

“Culture Group 2017”, LO Aarhus
phone:+45  86129255, mail:

Jens Galschiot
phone:+45 66184058, mail:

About Jens Galschiøt:
General information about Galschiøt can be found at:
Galschiøt is a sculptor who works with international art installations. Amongst other things he is working on a gigantic project about the religious tensions in the world.

He has named this art and dialogue project  
’The Children of Abraham’. The focal point of the project is the 3.5 meter tall and 70 square meter sculpture called F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.I.S.M. It is made of these letters made in 8,000 copper books symbolizing the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. 24 big monitors constantly display the ’brightest’ and the ’darkest’ quotations form Judaism, Christianity and Islam. See See concept click for the art project English - German - Danish


The entire area is approximately 10.000 m2 and it is open for audience all working days between 9am and 5pm. It is open at sundays between 12am and 4pm. - Closed during the saturday and other holidays. You can book a guided tour. Free admission.

Gallery Galschiot is the sculptor Jens Galschiot's 2500 m2 studio and museum. The place is one of Denmark's most spectacular and biggest private art workshops. The place is full of activities, and besides the artist's workshop, there is also a bronze foundry, gallery shop, art schools, wicker workshop, TV-studios, Sculpture Park and a 400 m2 art gallery.

If you visit Jens Galschiot at his great atelier and workshop, with dedicated people, you will get a feeling of witnessing something great, and as time goes, the life's work will start to form and be seen in the greater perspective, you will understand that this art goes further than the borders of Denmark.
Jens Galschiot is one of a kind on the international and Danish art scene, and his artistic activities have attracted much attention all around the world. His intense commitment, energy and artistic talent has something to say, and his sculptures and art happenings touches everybody who sees them. The entire artistic work is mainly about having something to say and having the heart in the right place - to make the world's sufferings and taboos visible and make the viewer think and make up his own opinion about the matter.
This is art that is not subject to the bourgeois norms. It dares to move against the stream, and that is what great art is about. The strength of the work is that it does not end up in a rigid protest, but offers genuine indignation paired with emotions, aesthetics, sensuality, energy, and humor.

- Recommendation from a visitor at Gallery Galschiot.
Gerda wegener
Gerda Wegener
Einar Wegener  (Lili Elbe)
This mail has been sent from the sculptor Jens Galschiøt's workshop.
Contact to the workshop:  
Galleri Galschiøt
Banevænget 22
5270 Odense N

Tlf : (+45) 6618 4058
Fax:(+45) 6618 4158


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