Published January 26, 2018
All Icelanders get their name printed at least once in Iceland—when they die. The oldest newspaper in Iceland, Morgunblaðið, has printed obituaries for decades, and it has become a well-known and respected tradition.
But even old newspapers makes mistakes. Icelandic readers where suprised to see a picture of the English singer Ed Sheeran accompanying one of the obituaries in Morgunblaðið last Wednesday. It wasn’t because the talented singer had died, but rather because someone mixed up the picture of the recently deceased Icelandic gentleman in question—who was 85 years old when he passed away—and the young superstar.
How? Well that remains to be seen. It’s a terrible mistake, and very embarrassing for Morgunblaðið, the editor of which is also well-known abroad, after Time reported that he was one of the architects of the financial collapse of Iceland; Iceland’s former prime minister, Davíð Oddsson.
Either way, Grapevine’s sympathy is with the gentleman’s family, who have to endure the weird mistake that their beloved was mixed up with Ed Sheeran.
Coincidentally, Grapevine news writer Nanna Árnadóttir was working on an article about this interesting tradition of obituaries-for-all in Iceland, where they aren’t just reserved for important figures, like in most other countries. You can read her piece here.