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New plans since kiosk operator died: "Helgas Büdchen" from Bonn „moves“ to the Open Air Museum Kommern

New plans since kiosk operator died : "Helgas Büdchen" from Bonn „moves“ to the Open Air Museum Kommern

The popular Bonn kiosk of the late Helga Karsten will now be placed in the Open Air Museum in Kommern. This Wednesday it was removed from its location on Meckenheimer Allee.

Josef Mangold, the director of the open-air museum in Kommern, had a few seconds of shock on Wednesday morning. At first there was an ominous creaking and clattering, but then the old kiosk, not far from the State Museum in Bonn, floated gently and silently onto the trailer of the heavy transporter. For almost 40 years, Helga Karsten sold newspapers, magazines and cigarettes from her colourfully decorated shack on Meckenheimer Allee. Since her sudden death in May, however, the shack has been closed. On Tuesday, "Helgas Büdchen" therefore moved to the open-air museum. In Kommern, the kiosk will stand next to the milk bar from Brühl and the sausage stand from the Cologne crime scene on the "Marktplatz Rheinland“.

However, the dismantling was not quite as easy as expected. Before Thorsten Strick and crane operator Sergey Roor could hook up the painted and stickered hut, the power supply had to be cut and a permanently installed cigarette machine removed. But even then things did not go smoothly. "A surprise," exclaimed Strick as he removed the metal skirts from the substructure.

For apparently a discarded caravan had simply been converted decades ago for the kiosk. "Never mind," Strick contemplated the construction. "We have also transported the Bundesbüdchen safely. We can do it this time too," the two men nodded to each other. No sooner said than done: the lifting ropes were attached and anchored. Now a sure instinct was needed. Centimetre by centimetre, the crane carefully pulled before the construction finally detached itself from the ground. Then it was finally done: after two hours of preparatory work, the Büdchen floated onto the truck and drove away in the direction of Kommern.

The Büdchen is examined by conservators

As soon as the jewel from Bonn has arrived in the Eifel, it will first be documented in the museum depot and examined by the conservators. Only then will it be carefully restored. Above all, the rust damage must be removed. "It is important to us that the charm is preserved," says museum director Mangold, pleased with the new acquisition. "This is really a great document of the post-war period from the region." He is also pleased that all the newspapers from the day of the former operator's death are still preserved. For these will once again be on display in Kommern.

For the neighbours in the neighbourhood of Meckenheimer Allee, Colmantstraße and Quantiusstraße, "Helgas Büdchen" was more than a stall selling newspapers, cigarettes and sweets. "These eight square metres were an institution, a social meeting place," remembers Bernd Martinius. "You went to Helga's and always met someone you knew." How popular the businesswoman was is also shown by the fact that until Wednesday, fresh flowers and candles were always placed in front of the kiosk. It was a matter of honour for the neighbours to bid farewell to "Helgas Büdchen" together and to watch the spectacle together.

For Herbert Conzen, Helga Karsten's nephew, it was also not easy to see the sales trolley being dismantled. "But I am really happy that the stall is being preserved as a document of the times. My aunt would have been very happy about that. It's not gone from us, it just moved," he said with satisfaction, glancing after the truck as it left. However, he and the neighbours in the neighbourhood already agree: "We will all travel to Kommern to see where Helga's Büdchen is," Martinius plans. (Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel / Translation: Mareike Graepel)