1. GA-English

Beethoven's 250th birthday plans: Giant Ferris Wheel to stand on Remigiusplatz in Bonn

Beethoven's 250th birthday plans : Giant Ferris Wheel to stand on Remigiusplatz in Bonn

Funfair carny Otto Barth wants to make a contribution to Beethoven's anniversary next year with a Ferris wheel on Remigiusplatz. The city council is generally in favour, but the politicians are still divided.

Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday is scheduled for 2020, and not alone in his native city of Bonn will everything revolve around the life and work of the great composer for a whole year. On Remigiusplatz in Bonn's city centre, a Ferris wheel could revolve around the theme of Beethoven on the occasion of the anniversary - right on time for the start of the Christmas market this year until next December. The funfair carny Otto Barth has applied to the city for permission. The decision will be made by the Council at its meeting on 7 November.

The Barth company had submitted the application in order to "support the anniversary celebrations of Beethoven 2020 with a visible sign with the Ferris Wheel and bring it to the public", according to the six-page city resolution on the subject. The bottom line is that the administration supports the idea of a "Beethoven wheel" - subject to actual feasibility. After all, the showman wanted to provide the Ferris wheel with a corresponding "Beethoven branding". In addition, an information stand of the Beethoven Jubilee Society (BTHVN 2020) could be accommodated in the area at the base of the Ferris Wheel.

"It is a 35-metre high Ferris wheel, so it is not the very large 50-metre high wheel that is on Pützchen's market," Barth explained to the GA. The Giant Ferris Wheel is kept entirely in white and should only be decorated discreetly with Beethoven motifs. For example, the composer's portrait could be emblazoned on the gondolas. "For the Beethoven Year, the city is expecting many guests and music lovers from all over the world. In addition to the numerous events in the anniversary year, a Beethoven bike is certainly also attractive for tourists," Barth is convinced. "The applicant's comments can be followed, so that a special public interest in the Ferris wheel and its advertising effectiveness for the anniversary can be determined," the administration supports the project. Malte Boecker of the BTHVN 2020 reacted cautiously: "The Beethoven Jubilee Society basically welcomes all activities aimed at visualizing the Beethoven anniversary.

Originally, Barth wanted to set up the Giant Ferris Wheel on Münsterplatz. However, this would collide with other events on Münsterplatz throughout the year, according to the administration. In addition, the city fears complaints from residents. Other locations, such as on the banks of the Rhine, were out of the question for Barth. With regard to stand fees, the administration explained: "If the normal tariff for commercial use were levied, 1.4 million euros would be due for the whole year. That would not be economically acceptable. Since, from the point of view of the administration, the operation of the Ferris wheel with the advertising effect for the Beethoven anniversary is "clearly in the public interest", the Lord Mayor could make a discretionary decision and determine an "appropriate fee".

But Politics are divided: Henriette Reinsberg (CDU) finds the idea "super and definitely worth examining". Her colleague Georg Fenninger is also impressed: "If the outward appearance refers to the Beethoven year, if it does not cost the city anything and does not represent a great handicap, there is little one can object to.“ His alliance partners, the Greens and the FDP, see things differently. "I find that embarrassing. On the square where Beethoven's baptistery once stood, something like that doesn't fit," says Hardy Lohmeyer (Greens). Werner Hümmrich (FDP) could only imagine the Rhine bank as the location for the Ferris wheel. "We have just had Remigiusplatz rebuilt. We should not clutter that again.“ Anatol Koch (left-wing group) considers the idea "provincial": "What does a Ferris wheel have to do with Beethoven?“

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen; Translation: Mareike Graepel)