As It Happens

Someone lopped off Norway's penis-shaped rock, but locals are determined to re-attach it

Joggers discovered on Saturday that a famous local rock formation, Trollpikken, had been chopped off.
Behold Trollpikken in all its glory. (Kjetil Bentsen)

Update: Since this story was first published, the workers have re-attached their beloved penis rock. 


See our original story below:

Kjetil Torgeirsen has "no idea" why anyone would want to lop off Norway's famous phallic rock formation, but he is determined to see it re-attached.

"It's iconic. It looks like an erect penis, actually," the paramedic from Egersund, Norway, told As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch. "You have a rather spectacular view over the local area."

That is, until Saturday, when joggers discovered that Trollpikken — which Torgeirsen says loosely translates to "troll c--k or d--k" — had been cracked off. 

"It looks not so proud any more," Torgeirsen said.

Trollpikken after somebody used drilling equipment to cut if off. (Carina Johansen/NTB Scanpix via Associated Press)

The rock had holes drilled into it, he said, and tools had been discarded nearby. Police are investigating, and the culprits could face a one-year prison sentence for a serious environmental crime.

But in the meantime, Torgeirsen and some other locals are leading the effort to repair the formation located south of the southern coastal city of Stavanger.

By Sunday, over 500 people had donated nearly 90,000 Norwegian kroner ($14,000 Cnd) to the cause.

Torgeirsen said they've already hired a local contractor for the job, which will take about four people, a helicopter and a crane to pull off. 

Police are investigating Trollpikken's demise as vandalism after drill marks were discovered on the rock. (Kjetil Bentsen)

If all goes according to plan, Trollpikken — which weighs an estimated 10 metric tonnes and reaches almost 12 metres off the ground when attached — will be restored to its former glory by late summer. 

"Luckily, the rock itself seems to have just gotten minor injuries from the fall," Torgeirsen said. "The cuts are very clean so the contractor told us it should be 99.5 [per cent] original."

The vandals may have done the region an unintended favour by shining an international spotlight on Trollpikken, Torgeirsen said.

"The media coverage has been enormous," he said, adding it may bring more tourists to the area. 

Asked why people care so much about Trollpikken that they would open their pocketbooks, Torgeirsen said: "I think the concept makes people happy."

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With files from Associated Press