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Queen Margrethe II's tomb now ready and waiting: Danish court

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Queen Margrethe II's tomb now ready and waiting: Danish court
The finished tomb in place. Photo: Keld Navntoft, Danish Royal Court).
10:28 CEST+02:00
The striking glass and silver tomb designed by a Danish artist for Queen Margrethe II has been completed, just days after the much-loved monarch greeted crowds for her 78th birthday.
The Danish Court on Monday released photographs of the tomb installed at Roskilde Cathedral, where almost 40 Danish kings and queens have been buried, dating back to Sweyn II in 1076 and possibly even to the great king Harald Bluetooth in 986. 
 
The design has been developed since 2003 by the sculptor Bjørn Nørgaard together with Margrethe and her French husband Prince Henrik, and has cost about 30 million kroner ($5m). 
 
Named 'Sarkofag' or 'sarcophagus' it features a transparent rounded capsule in cast glass holding two supine figures mounted on pillars topped with silver elephant heads. 
 
The base is made of French sandstone, while the three pillars carrying the sarcophagus are made from Danish granite, Faroese basalt and Greenland marble. 
 
Last August,  the prince decided that he no longer wanted his remains kept in the crypt built under the tomb, so after he died in died in February, his ashes were instead spread on the sea and in the garden of Fredensborg Castle. 
 
But even though Margrethe will now be buried alone, this will not mean any changes to the two figures represented in the tomb. 
 
Nørgaard has been heavily influenced by the German performance artist Joseph Beuys, and made his name initially with avant garde 'happenings'. 
 
But he is perhaps most famous for designing tapestries tracing the history of Denmark at the request of Queen Margrethe. 
 
The structure, which has been installed at St Birgitta's chapel, has now been covered up by a wooden box and will not be displayed to the public until after Margrethe's death.
 
In June, however, an exhibition will open at the cathedral covering its design and construction, including a 1:10 model of the structure. 
 
Here's Nørgaard's original sketch: 
 
 
Here's the finished tomb being lowered into place (all photos by Keld Navntoft, Danish Royal Court). 
 
 
Here's the symbolic topping being laid on it: 
 
 
 
And here's the cover which will hide the tomb until Margrethe's death: 
 
 
 
 
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