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article imageDesigner Swedish crystal smashed and wasted as factory closes

By Anne Sewell     Oct 23, 2013 in World
Orrefors Kosta Boda glass factories in southern Sweden have recently closed down. Now designer crystal, worth hundreds of thousands of kronor is being simply smashed and thrown away.
The workers that created the glass are dismayed. One former glass worker told Sveriges Television (SVT), (in Swedish) "It's tough to see our work treated like this."
But it seems the owners would rather destroy the artistic products, rather than flood the market with discounted wares.
Operations at the glass factories finally came to a halt this month, after the owners, New Wave Group, were unable to purchase the facilities.
A designer who worked at the Ã…fors factory for the past 50 years, Bertil Vallien, now visits his former workshop daily to clear the shelves of the crystal busts and boats he designed, as well as the work of other designers, all of which combined helped make Sweden's "crystal kingdom" famous around the world.
An example of Vallien's work can be viewed above left.
Vallien told SVT (in Swedish): "Its sad and tragic to destroy things that aren't only a part of my history, but are also a part of the factory's history."
Apparently a small amount of the glass works will be placed at the Glass Factory museum in nearby Boda. However, the majority will be destroyed at the orders of company management, who don't want to have a bargain basement sale of Swedish-designed crystal.
Many of the former glass factory workers and designers are upset at the "destructive way" the crystal treasures are being simply trashed, but the Company believes that the glass is of no value.
Designer crystal is being smashed at Orrefors Kosta Boda glass factories in Sweden  rather than sold...
Designer crystal is being smashed at Orrefors Kosta Boda glass factories in Sweden, rather than sold at a discount.
Video screengrab
Jenny Sundqvist, head of product and marketing at Orrefors Kosta Boda, argues that the shattered glass is of poor quality, inferior or simply samples, and has been assessed as "unsellable".
She wrote in an email: "To smash glass that has a value is not an option for any company that conducts business."
However, many workers say the opposite, and that in many cases exclusive pieces, bearing the signatures of the designers, are also being thrown on the scrap heap.
Designer crystal is being smashed at Orrefors Kosta Boda glass factories in Sweden  rather than sold...
Designer crystal is being smashed at Orrefors Kosta Boda glass factories in Sweden, rather than sold at a discount.
Video screengrab
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