A banner up in the window of an empty store on Laugavegur announcing the arrival of an H&M store turned out to be a university student project on the nature of happiness.
Vísir, who followed the story most closely, reported at around 3:00 today that a banner had been put up in the store front window of what used to be the shop 17, and is now vacant. The banner reads, “H&M opens here, for the first time in Iceland”. However, Vísir noticed at 10:00 that the sign had been taken down.
As it so happens, the banner was the work of what Jakob Frímann Magnússon called “artists with a capital A”, saying that they had also put up a banner elsewhere announcing the arrival of McDonald’s.
It came to light at about 14:30 today that university students were behind the stunt. Hjálmar Ragnarsson, the rector of the Iceland Academy of the Arts, confirmed the matter for reporters. A group of students had chosen for a project to examine what makes people happy, and came up with this particular idea.
Not everyone was thrilled with the project, however, as Vísir reported that their editorial office received an angry phone call for publishing the initial news story, with the caller claiming it could have had a negative impact on the company Hagar, which is on the Icelandic Stock Exchange and a competitor of H&M.