The city of Bern awards prizes for “exemplary craftsmanship and artistry“ gravestones and even has an advisor for the design

Sculptor Atelier Karl Imfeld, Lungern; oak wood and Jura limestone.

Next-of-kin receive a voucher for flower arrangements worth 100 SF and a certificate / The work of the sculptors is honored with a certificate

The gravestone awards were again presented in Bern. Every 2 years, designs are awarded that are “exemplary in terms of craftsmanship and art,“ as it says on a web page of the Swiss capital. In doing so, the city wants to “send a positive signal for gravestone art and cemetery culture.“

The prizes have been awarded since 1957. In recognition, next-of-kin of the deceased receive a voucher for floral decorations worth 100 SF (US-$108) and a certificate. The work of the sculptors is honored with a certificate.

For the selection, the city has established a permanent commission since 2000. One of the current members is sculptor and graphic artist Josef Loretan, who advises the bereaved on the design.

This time, gravestones from 2020 and 2021 were awarded. One example is the gravestone that 3 children ordered for their mother from sculptor Karl Imfeld (photo above). The Luzerner Zeitung describes the background: the family had lost the father early and the mother had to support herself and the children with cleaning and odd jobs. The artist’s sculpture now shows a crown with 4 prongs as a sign of togetherness. The arrangement of the year of birth and death on the wooden base reflects the Christian faith.

We show 9 of the 12 gravestones awarded this year.

Luzerner Zeitung (German)

Video (Schwyzerdütsch)

Photos: City of Bern

Left: Sculptor Richard Wyss, Wohlen; Bollinger sandstone. Right: Sculptor Sini GmbH, Grenchen; Kaplan marble.Left: Jeker Natursteine AG, Bern; basalt column. Right: Bildhauerei 2und, Köniz, Beatrice Altwegg; basaltino (gray), glass, text, mirrored.Left: Sculpture 2and, Köniz, Beatrice Altwegg; Ticino gneiss. Right: Sculptor Richard Wyss, Wohlen; rolled steel sheet.Left: Kälin & Wymann AG, Düdingen; Balusee pebble limestone. Right: Franziska Dietiker; oak, ceramic, aluminum letters.Sculptor Albert Schenk; corten steel.

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(17.12.2021, 12.17.2021)