'Famntaget' ('The Embrace') – Trelleborg Ö, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

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'Famntaget' ('The Embrace')

This statue standing near Sweden's southernmost point was based on the grandmother of a modern movie star. 


In the shadow of Sweden’s southernmost point in the small fishing village of Smygehuk stands Famntaget, an often overlooked sculpture with an interesting connection to Hollywood. This life-size bronze statue of a naked woman was modeled after Birgit Holmquist, who is the maternal grandmother of American actress Uma Thurman.

The daughter of an industrialist, Holmquist was born in 1911 and raised in Trelleborg in southern Sweden. In her late teens, she worked as a model and posed for the renowned local sculptor Axel Ebbe, which resulted in the Famntaget statue. A few years later, Birgit married a German baron, with whom she fled from Nazi Germany to Mexico.

In an interview with Swedish broadcaster TV4, Uma Thurman revealed that she privately has been to Famntaget in Smygehuk and even taken a selfie there. The Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill star also said that she found it amazing to be able to see this beautiful, three-dimensional version of her grandmother, who passed away when Uma was only three years old.

The sculpture was originally installed in the harbor of Trelleborg in 1930. Then when the waterfront was rebuilt in the 1970s, the statue was moved 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) to its current location in Smygehuk, where it’s now overlooking the tiny boatyard while embracing the sunshine and the salty sea breeze.

Know Before You Go

Famntaget is located right above the small harbour. You should spot it on the right-hand side if you are walking from the parking lot to the geographic marker.

Regional bus No. 190 between Trelleborg - Ystad stops at the Smygehuk Hamnen bus stop nearby.

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