If you have visited Leo’s Legeland, or shopped in or ridden by the Eternitten neighborhood of Aalborg (home of various establishments, including Føtex, Netto, and Fakta) recently, you probably noticed that there’s a lot going on there. Construction is happening at a rapid pace – buildings being renovated and transformed, new buildings going up. One recent development is the creation of an enormous mural that wraps around the silo on the site. Thanks to a tip from Inma, a fellow ‘international’ here in Aalborg, I recently found out who the artist is and what the building will be…
In a few weeks the silo will be turned into a museum and a memorial for those who worked in the old Eternit factory. Birgit Elgaard, one of the people who has pushed for the project, has a personal connection to the site: her father worked there and fell ill from years of exposure to asbestos in the factory building. Thus, the focus of the musuem/memorial is to commemorate those who have suffered the effects of asbestos.
“I hope that the survivors of workers who lost their lives because of asbestos will want to come out here and feel the atmosphere that we will create with this museum,” says Birgit Elgaard. You can see a news clip about the project here.
The mural is being painted by Guido van Helten. van Helten, an artist from Australia, is creating portraits of workers from the old factory on the silo. He has created numerous other murals all over the world, including in Iceland, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. His images are haunting, and many seem to be commissioned by those trying to raise social awareness of various issues.