• Germany's news in English
 
Artist compensated for two lost French fries
Photo: DPA

Artist compensated for two lost French fries

Published: 09 Feb 2012 16:53 GMT+01:00

The artwork comprised a cross made of two golden chips, alongside two normal fries, deep-fried and not gold-leafed.

The catalogue for the original 1990 exhibition “Pommes d’Or,” described the work of artist Stefan Bohnenberger as “the metamorphosis of a profane everyday object into a sacred artwork.”

But the gallery’s reverence for the chips declined in the intervening decades, because when Bohnenberger asked for the two normal fries back last year, the Munich gallery Mosel and Tschechow could no longer find them. An incensed Bohnenberger promptly demanded damages, which the gallery refused to pay.

According to a report in news magazine Der Spiegel the court ruled that the gallery must now hand Bohnenberger €2,000 plus five percent interest from May 2010. On top of that, the gallery is being forced to pay 90 percent of the court fees.

The judge found that the gallery had neglected its duty to keep the chips safe.

Gallery owner Andrea Tschechow denied that the chips should be considered art. “There were crosses made of fries that were meant to be artworks, but not this one – this was just the model for the golden cross,” she said.

But a woman acquainted with the artist apparently provided the court with decisive evidence - she testified that she would have bought the chips for €2,500.

This testimony made the question of the fries’ artistic value moot. Court spokesman Wilhelm Schneider told the magazine, “The artist receives damages if the lost objects have an economic value.”

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:40 February 9, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Many criminals never come before a court, because judges in Germany are always complaining about having too much far work to do. It is therefore disgraceful that such rubbish as two chips should be given so much importance. This waste of time is typical for the current judicial system in Germany.
23:10 February 9, 2012 by zeddriver
@kennneth

I think it's even worse than you say. Because, when a judge allows a friend of the plaintiff to give testimony based on a hypothetical. That turns this court of law, into a game show set.
12:49 February 10, 2012 by auniquecorn
I think it all came down to what that so called friend looked like.

and how many times she winked at him.
06:30 February 11, 2012 by parografik
I believe I have these fries in between my car seats as I type this.
Today's headlines
'Breakthrough' in train strike: union
Stranded passengers during the train strike Photo: DPA

'Breakthrough' in train strike: union

The head of the train drivers union GDL claimed a "breakthrough" late Wednesday in talks with Deutsche Bahn, which may herald the end of a spate of train strikes which have caused travelling misery and cost the rail operator around 100 million euros. READ  

Opinion
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
The baroque skyline of Dresden Photo: DPA

What does Dresden have against Muslims?

The Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) was unknown three months ago. Now it's making Dresden famous - for all the wrong reasons. READ  

Amazon strike extended to Saturday
Workers at the Amazon distribution centre in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Amazon strike extended to Saturday

Union Verdi announced on Wednesday that its members at two Amazon distribution centres would extend a planned three-day strike through the rest of the week, while four more sites saw new walkouts. READ  

Russia in clear over death of German MP
The late German parliamentarian Andreas Schockenhoff Photo: DPA

Russia in clear over death of German MP

A post-mortem on a prominent German MP and critic of Vladimir Putin showed no signs of foul play, prosecutors said Wednesday. READ  

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign
Former East German leader and "comrade" Erich Honecker Photo: DPA

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign

A historic Berlin museum is facing calls to pull down a plaque commemorating the former East German communist leader Erich Honecker. READ  

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs
Presiding judge Ferdinand Kirchhof announcing the decision on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs

Judges at the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday that the government must change rules reducing tax on inherited family-owned businesses within 18 months. READ  

Cabinet agrees to send 100 army trainers to Iraq
A German soldier training a Kurdish fighter with the German-made G3 rifle. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees to send 100 army trainers to Iraq

MPs in the Bundestag will vote in January on a controversial plan to send 100 soldiers to Iraq to train Kurdish fighters battling terrorist group Isis. READ  

Germany's Homer Simpson is actually 85
Image: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Germany's Homer Simpson is actually 85

He might be bald, and fat, but onscreen Homer Simpson doesn't look a day over... let's say 45. Unlike the actor who voices Homer for German audiences who is, in fact, 85 and still going strong. READ  

Greens and Left demand follow-up on US torture
Amnesty International demonstrators during a visit by President Obama to Brussels in March 2014. Photo: DPA

Greens and Left demand follow-up on US torture

Opposition parties are calling for the government to adopt a harsher stance towards the USA after the US Senate published a report into CIA torture last week. READ  

'The Hoff' to star in NYE at Brandenburg Gate
A wax figure of Hasselhoff in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: DPA

'The Hoff' to star in NYE at Brandenburg Gate

David Hasselhoff will sing to a crowd of hundreds of thousands to see in the New Year at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate - the same spot where he famously sang "Looking for Freedom" after the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Sponsored Article
Ever wanted to try out home exchange?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,153
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd