Some people are presented with a cake and a watch when they retire, but this street sweeper is getting a bronze statue of himself erected in the town square.
A committee in Sortland, Norway has decided that’s the best way to honor longtime street sweeper Kjetil Paulsen when he retires next year. He’s spent 20 years keeping Sortland’s streets litter free and was already elected “Sortlander of the Year” in 2008.
A Facebook group, “La oss hedre Kjetil Paulsen” (English: Let’s honor Kjetil Paulsen), sprang up this year to further pay homage to him before his retirement.
Committee members say a statue will symbolize Paulsen’s grassroots presence and human contact with Sortland’s people.
When it is erected in 2016, it’ll be the first life-sized statue in the town of 10,000. The sculptor who has already met with Paulsen says she wants to capture his “bubbly personality.”
Sortland is also promoting a new phrase — “Take a Kjetil” — meaning, “clean up after yourself,” since no one cleaned up their town better than Paulsen.
One comment in the Facebook group read, “Without Kjetil, Sortland would be a pigsty. He is doing a great job!”