Artist of Breckenridge troll says town is allowing him to rebuild it

The large wooden troll, “Isak Hearthstone,” made by artist Thomas Dambo during Breckenridge International Festival of the Arts in August, sitting in the snow Wednesday. (Hugh Carey, Summit Daily News via AP)

There’s been another twist in the Breckenridge troll drama.

Thomas Dambo, the Danish artist behind Breckenridge’s popular wooden troll Isak Heartstone, posted on Instagram Friday that town council offered him the chance to rebuild the public art piece somewhere else after it was taken down Thursday.

“The city took him gently apart, and once the snow melts, I will be back to rebuild him in a new location,” he wrote.

In the post, Dambo said the town offered two new locations: Illinois Creek behind the Stephen C. West Ice Arena and along the River Trail near Breckenridge Recreation Center.

Breckenridge spokeswoman Haley Littleton said both areas were ideal given their proximity to downtown, access to parking and beautiful surroundings that fit the piece. Littleton said details were still being worked out, so she was unable to answer at the time when the piece would be rebuilt and how much the town will pay Dambo to do so. Dambo was originally given a $40,000 commission for the piece.

Although town council voted to tear Isak down after neighbors complained, she said workers de-installed the piece in a way that would salvage as much as possible so Isak could be relocated.

This latest development was first reported by Summit Daily, which has been following the troll’s progress since the drama began.

Isak was built for Breckenridge’s summer arts festival. The troll is one of 40 trolls made from recycled wood around the world. He sat about a mile up the Wellington Trail and quickly became wildly popular, which sparked tensions with neighbors.

Nearby homeowners took concerns about illegal parking, littering and a loss of privacy, among other things, to the town council. The structure was initially intended to stay up for as long as it weathered the elements, which was expected to be roughly three years.

Dambo reacted to the council’s decision to take down Isak by putting a plea on social media to save the troll, asking for the chance to relocate him to a new home.

View this post on Instagram

HELP ME SAVE ISAK ❤ HEARTSTONE! Yesterday Breckenridge voted to break down my new sculpture Isak Hearthstone. Several media outlets have asked for my opinion – so here goes. Isak Hearthstone is part of a series that now counts 40 recycled trolls, that sit in nature all around the world. I make these sculptures out of local scrap wood, with the help of local volunteers. To show the world how much potential and beauty lays hidden in our trash. Isak got his name after 3 local girls came and gave me a heart shaped rock, that we together built into his chest – and thus his name came to be. Isak Heartstone sits on hiking trail in the out skirts beautifull ski and hiking town Breckenridge. I made it 3 month ago and since then it has become so popular that it has created problems, problems the city council finds so severe – they now have voted to break Isak Hearthstone down. The problem is to my understanding, that some people park in a near by residential area, and it has upset a small group of local citizens because of the extra cars on the streets. I have been told that a local bus last year in one day brought 3 people to the local bus stop – this year on the same date the bus brought 3000, so many they renamed the bus the “Troll Trolley” on Instagram there are more than 500 uploads with the hashtag #Isakheartstone. I love to see all these people and photos, last week a guy even dressed up as Isak for Halloween. I think its incredible that a pile of scrap wood can create so many feelings, experiences and emotions and I think it teaches us how important it is to recycle and not just discard the materials and products we use. But because of this I also think it would be a disaster if all the time, love and effort put in to building this giant friendly troll would go to waste – so if you all could please help me find a new home for Isak Hearthstone by sharing/taggin/commenting one this post it would mean a lot. Lastly I want to state that 1. I don’t think its jolly happy days that the sculpture is to be taken down after only 3 months, like some medias quoted me and 2. the integral structure of the sculpture is built to withstand 3 years in the local weather.

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