Breckenridge Dismantles Isak The Trail Troll

<p>Stephanie Wolf/CPR News</p>
<p>A look at the face of “Isak Heartstone,” a troll sculpture by Thomas Dambo along Breckenridge&#039;s Wellington Trail, Oct. 23, 2018.</p>
Photo: Breck Troll 5 | Isak Heartstone Close Up - SWolf
A look at the face of "Isak Heartstone," a troll sculpture by Thomas Dambo along Breckenridge's Wellington Trail, Oct. 23, 2018.

Say goodbye to Isak Heartstone, the artful troll of Breckenridge’s Wellington Trail.

Thursday morning, the Summit Daily posted a Facebook Live video with the caption, “The Troll is being removed. Live from Wellington neighborhood.” They later posted photos of an excavator lifting the troll’s head from his shoulders.

The 15-foot sculpture made of reclaimed wood has been a frequent topic of conversation for Breckenridge residents the last few months. The artwork went up in August for the 2018 Breckenridge International Festival of Arts. Breckenridge Creative Arts commissioned Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who is famous for his troll sculptures, to create the woodland creature.

Isak’s unexpected popularity riled nearby residents, who complained of noise, traffic and trash. In late October, town council voted to let Isak stay, citing a significant uptick in tourism as a positive outcome of the artwork. Mitigation efforts were put in place, such as additional trash cans, signage, fencing and police presence, as well as a concerted push to get visitors to take a free shuttle bus. But council members changed their tune Tuesday night during a town hall meeting and voted that the troll must go — this time saying that growing concerns about public safety pushed them to rethink Isak’s fate.

In response, Dambo posted a plea on Facebook Wednesday that garnered thousands of comments and shares, asking people to help him find a new home for the troll: “I think it would be a disaster if all the time, love and effort put in to building this giant friendly troll would go to waste.”

Dambo built the troll with volunteers from the neighborhood.

“It’s named after a guy called Isak who helped build it,” he told CPR News in October. “And three little girls [from the neighborhood] came with a stone shaped like a heart. Then we decided to name it Isak Heartstone.”

Town staff had left open the door to possible relocation for the trail troll, but offered no specifics, location or timetable.