‘Fortunate Chimney Sweeper’ – Tallinn, Estonia
The “Lucky Chimney Sweeper” sculpture was created by sculptor Tauno Kangro.
The story behind this bronze chimney sweep statue is that when people saw a chimney sweep on the street they would do all that they could to touch the buttons on the sweep’s coat. This was because chimney sweeps in Estonia once had golden buttons on their uniform and it was considered lucky if you could get one of the buttons for yourself. As members of the public would try and steal the “lucky buttons,” chimney sweeps in Tallinn would often be seen with some of the buttons missing from their coats.
Trailing behind the sculpture is a small series of bronze footsteps. The sculpture is said to have been erected in memory of all the men who not only climbed rooftops to clean out sooty chimneys, but also brought good luck to the people living in the city.
The buttons on the statues’ coat are bright and shiny, although the rest of the sculpture has developed a patina. It’s considered good luck to rub the buttons of the sweep’s coat.