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Student jobs — From the centre of politics to the most secret rooms in a museum. 73 per cent of all Danish students have a job while they are at university. Sandi Rizvić is a student of classical archaeology and an employee at Thorvaldsen's Museum.
The first day I was allowed to open a display case and touch an object, I was just: Wow!
When I touch a ring or a letter stamp that [Danish sculptor, ed.] Thorvaldsen touched, a carved gem from antiquity, or a vase that someone used 2,000 years ago, I feel connected to art and history. It might be difficult to explain this to someone who does not have the same passion for old objects, but it gives me a rush. I feel very fortunate.
And at the same time, I am in awe. When I had to carry twelve gems from one room to another in an open tray, the only thing I could think of was whether a child would come running around the corner and slam into me, so I dropped all the stones on the floor. Luckily it did not happen.
The work has given me more pleasure in terms of academic life, and motivation, than I have had for a long time during the course of my studies. It’s just great to get to use what you’ve learned in practice. It is like going on an archaeological dig. You can learn a lot about it in the classroom, but it is only when you stand there with your bucket and spade that you really get an understanding of it.
I also have a number of low-level practical tasks. I recently had to remove tape residues from an old floor after an exhibition. I had to try different types of chemical cleaner, and try not to ruin the floor.
At other times, I look for specific objects in our archive. I then flick through large binders and feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes. And then finally go up to the attic, crawl under, and over, some old cross beams to find the right archives.
No matter what I do, it is inspiring to be here. Thorvaldsen’s Museum is one of the city’s most beautiful museums. Just walking from A to B in here, I see art, history and archaeology, and sometimes I look up on the walls and the ceiling and let myself be transported away into the beauty of it all.
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