Memorial about Women’s Rights Pioneer Unveiled Skip to content

Memorial about Women’s Rights Pioneer Unveiled

By Iceland Review

A memorial dedicated to Bríet Bjarnhédinsdóttir (1856-1940), a pioneer in Iceland’s women’s liberation movement, was unveiled in central Reykjavík by Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson on Wednesday.

The memorial is located on the corner of Thingholtsstraeti and Amtmannsstígur. Bjarnhédinsdóttir lived on Thingholtsstraeti 18, which is where the Women’s Rights Association of Iceland was founded 100 years ago, Fréttabladid reports.

The memorial was made by visual artist Ólöf Nordal. “The idea is for the artwork to form a place where people can convene and have discussions,” the artist explained.

It is a circular piece of granite depicting a common embroidery pattern from the 19th century, which Bjarnhédinsdóttir once embroidered into a dress that she gave to her daughter, Laufey Valdimarsdóttir. The first line of a poem about Bjarnhédinsdóttir is inscribed into the granite pavement around the pattern.

The memorial is flat, but the surrounding area is higher, so when visitors approach it they should imagine they are walking into Bjarnhédinsdóttir’s arms and feel her presence, Nordal said.

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