Secret message in the hammer
Gylfadóttir, Iceland's Foreign Minister, handing the parting gift, the hammer, to the new chair, Rinkevics, Foreign Minister of Latvia, who will chair the council for the next six months. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnusson
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, handed the hammer to the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics. The hammer was carved by the artist Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir especially as a parting gift. The hammer has a small secret compartment and Gylfadóttir said she had placed a secret message to Rinkevics in it.
The Hammer made a big impression before the weekend. The Council of Europe’s Presidency traditionally gives the new chair a gift at the end of the Presidency. On the hammer the words “With Law shall the Land be built” are carved.
Gylfadóttir told Rinkevics that he could then write a message to Liechtenstein when their foreign minister assumes the chairmanship in November.
Iceland’s gift to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers is a reproduction of the meeting hammer of sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson, originally donated to the United Nations in 1952 on the occasion of the inauguration of the new headquarters in New York. The hammer will henceforth be used to chair meetings of the Committee of Ministers.