Moose head heats up Finnish-Swiss cooperation
Text and photos: Anita Korsberg
In 2016, the Diesel workshop in Linnavuori was performing a general overhaul to the Swiss nuclear power plant Gösgen-Däniken’s emergency diesel engine. The customer’s technical director Erich Winistörfer visited in Finland during the process, and once saw a huge moose head trophy on the window of an antiques store in Tampere and became very interested in it. The price of the moose head, however, was too high for the Swiss purse.
I paid a visit to the nuclear power plant in early 2017, and after our meeting Erich once again brought up the subject about the moose head. He was quite baffled of the fact that it was actually possible to sell such things in Finland. Erich told me that he had wanted a such piece to decorate the walls of his own home for years on end, but since he doesn’t hunt himself, it didn’t seem too likely to ever come true.
After returning to Finland the thought of this problem kept haunting me, so I ended up researching flea markets and rummage sales in order to find if there were moose heads for sale for decent price. And oh yes - I found one from tori.fi online flea market, on sale by the original hunter and the price was just perfect. That’s when the fun really got going. Next, I contacted the customs authorities to find out if it’s possible to export such old trophies. After a positive response I sent a message and some photos to Erich, to tell I found him a moose head. Erich made it a deal immediately and asked me to make the necessary arrangements for the head to be transported to Switzerland.
The moose head was delivered to Switzerland in March 2017, and Erich couldn’t have been happier. Later in the spring he was celebrating his wife’s 50th birthday, and just before the reception and party, he and his children mounted the moose head on their living room wall. The moose head was then unveiled to Erich’s wife and their family and friends during the party. Erich later told me that after the reveal, his wife was first about to pass out, but eventually after a bit of recovery and a glass of Kirsch, she did accept the new inhabitant of the living room. Today, however, the moose head has been transferred to Erich’s man cave – the garage.
The moose head has then become an icebreaking inside joke with the customer, and the Finnish-Swiss collaboration is very warm these days. Prior to this case, we used to be much more formal.