Mr. Great Wall immortalized as bird king

July 2 2024

On 4 July 2023, I was named bird king of the year in Roskilde Bird Shooting Association. In doing so, I followed in the footsteps of many proud men who before me have enjoyed the same title since 1787. For me it was quite special, as it was 50 years since I got my first impression of the association’s traditions, and since as website editor for 15 years I had written about bird kings, there paintings and about the association’s history and traditions.


As bird king you have both honor and duties. One of the duties is to have executed a painting that will last for posterity. The many existing paintings are on display at Roskilde Museum, Roskilde Town Hall and Restaurant Håndværkeren. It is a great honor that in this way I can leave my small mark in local history for hundreds of years to come.


I have enjoyed my year as bird king and have now been replaced by my successor. My painting was unveiled on Tuesday and hung at Restaurant Håndværkeren.Just as honorable it is to be “Bird King”, it is to be “Mr. Great Wall”, a title I have enjoyed for many years for my many completions of “The Great Wall Marathon” in Huangyaguan, China. For me, there was no doubt that the motif on my bird king painting had to be from there. The two distinguished titles had to be united.


Motifs on my painting are taken from a photo of me running across the finish line in China on May 26, 2001. This exactly on the second anniversary of my life’s first marathon, in the same place.

The picture shows me “floating” over the timing mat, while the joy on my face shows my emotions. In the background are my two sons, Emil who was 6 years old at the time and Steffen who, as a 13-year-old, had finished his half-marathon at the same place 3½ hours earlier.
An illustration of the Great Wall of China rises in gray from the motif up from the inner circle of the frame. Here, the inner ring of the frame is carved to symbolize the wall’s iconic defense holes. These are designed so that you could fire arrows and throw stones at the enemy from there.
From the gray wall, the base color of the frame is reddish, while the letters and numbers and the outermost ring in the frame are yellowish. The two colors symbolize the Chinese flag, although the shades are not the same.


Above the frame is a typical Chinese roof construction in sterling silver. What is not visible to the naked eye is that in 10 of the round tubes there are Chinese characters, thus:


  • In the left side 长城 先生 which stands for Mr. Great Wall
  • Centered at the top 亨里克 which stands for Henrik
  • On the right side 鸟中之王 which stands for bird king

The dial was painted by painter Anne Koldsø, while the wall cutout was cut by master carpenter Kim Juel Gregersen and the silver roof was forged by goldsmith Henrik Enig. I have been very satisfied with the cooperation with all of them.


On the back of the disc, the bird king has made a pocket that contains an A4 booklet with all the information about the painting, the bird king, artists and the bird king’s speech to Denmark’s Majesties that was performed on bird shooting day, Tuesday 2 July 2024.


Above the booklets, artist Anne Koldsø has written her signature and the year of completion.


Fuglekongen rundskåret    Fuglekongeskive 2023Fuglekongeskive 2023 bagsiden

Mr Great Wall på kinesisk    Henrik på kinesiskFuglekonge på kinesisk