Bonn The Beethoven statues in green and gold are proving to be very popular. More than 1300 statues have already found owners. The art installation opened in Bonn city center on Friday.
True art remains imperishable: This line has been attributed to Ludwig van Beethoven. But it is debatable as to whether or not the 700 green and golden Beethoven statues that have been adorning Münsterplatz for a few days are truly everlasting. Many Bonn residents and visitors alike seem to be enjoying the Beethoven art installation. It was officially opened on Friday noon by the City-marketing Association, along with sculptor Ottmar Hörl, and Mayor Ashok Sridharan as patron, Stephan Eisel (Citizens for Beethoven) and Ralf Birkner (Beethoven Jubiläums GmbH) in the run-up to Beethoven's anniversary in 2020.
Mayor Sridharan also bought a Beethoven statue
Wherever you look, there is hardly a person who passes through Münsterplatz and doesn't pull out their mobile phone to take a picture of the smiling Ludwigs. "We immediately bought one," says Bernd Lindemeyer (80). "The installation is just super, it tops everything that has existed in this genre so far", his wife Ulla Hartlapp-Lindemeyer (67) is convinced. They don't know which of the statues belongs to them. People have been able to sponsor and purchase a statue, but they are not numbered. "It's simply wonderful how the citizens are really involved here," says Karina Kröber from the board of the City-marketing Association. Her sister Tanja, with whom she runs an optical and hearing aid business at Friedensplatz, had the idea a few years ago.
The local organizations led by Kröber, Eisel and Birkner provided conceptual and financial support for the art installation. They could not have imagined that this idea would translate into such a huge success. "We have now sold 1,312 statues," Eisel proudly announced at the opening ceremony on stage. And there is no limit to the number of orders that can be placed. Lord Mayor Sridharan also bought a statue, as he revealed. "With the smiling Beethoven statues, you, dear Mr. Hörl, have not only sent out a new impulse, but have brought Beethoven back to Bonn", he praised the artist. The sculptor will give part of his profit from sales to the initiators. According to Kröber, the exact amount will only be known once the costs have been determined.
Media from all over the world have reported on the smiling Ludwigs
Bonn’s most renowned son, better known as a grim-looking composer, is now making his way through the world as a smiling sculpture: Hörl and Eisel say media from all over the world have already been to Münsterplatz and reported on it in their home countries. "Bonn launches a more friendly Beethoven into the world", was the title in "Die Welt", a German newspaper. Even in the Arab state of Oman, the Beethoven installation attracted media attention.
Sculptor Ottmar Hörl, along with ten helpers, was busy the whole week with the construction of the exhibition. While working on it, he was permanently answering questions and speaking with the public, by Friday he hardly any voice left. "My art installation has received 99 percent approval. It’s just fantastic." Only two or three people said they didn't like his statues, says the art professor, who has been on the road as a sculptor for years. The aim of his work here is to make Bonn better known worldwide as a Beethoven city. He also wants everyone to be able to buy a work of art. "300 euros is not exactly cheap", Eisel said, but the great interest in buying a statue is affirmation of the artist's idea to offer it up for sale (from June 8, the statue costs 350 euros).
Volunteers help secure the statues
Birkner hopes that the success of the Hörl art installation will have an overall positive effect on Beethoven's anniversary year.
The sculptures, produced by a company in Coburg, are guarded by volunteers during the day, as Kröber praised. At night, a security firm is in place to watch over them. The installation, which can be seen until June 2, will be accompanied by a supporting program. This includes live music on stage every day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. This Saturday, the Bonn pianist Susanne Kessel will play.
Further information on the purchase of the Beethoven statues and the supporting program can be found at www.unser-ludwig.de.
Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen Translation: Carol Kloeppel