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Packhorse on Iceland, 1966

by Sigurjón Ólafsson

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bronze, 330 cm high, Raudararstigur/Laugasvegur, Reykjavik (photo: Kirsten Bras-Ykema)

This sculpture shows the horse as an essential part of the development of Iceland. The horse was imported into Iceland by Norwegian settlers in the 10th century or even earlier. Since then it was the main means of transport in the very rough terrain, especially between the villages and the trading ports and it became adapted to the harsh circumstances. Only in the 20th century the motorization took over that task. In the absence of large trees on Iceland, wooden building material had to be imported for building houses. That is what we see here. On its left side the mare carries some long planks and on the right a chest with bundles on top. She has her foal with her, not unusual for a working horse with a suckling foal that can walk well. The foal was added to the sculpture in 1984 and is an important part of this historical scene. (Foundry: Lauritz Rasmussen, Copenhagen).