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Vandals target Munich's first gay maypole

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Vandals target Munich's first gay maypole
The maypole before it was vandalized. Photo: DPA
12:34 CEST+02:00
A Munich gay group filed charges this week after unknown vandals took a paintbrush to the city's first gay-themed maypole.

Spattered with grey paint were depictions of gay life in Munich's Glockenbachviertel neighborhood, where hundreds of gay and straight residents gathered last Thursday to erect the maypole, said Conrad Breyer, spokesman for the Gay Communication and Culture Centre of Munich (SUB).

"It could have been a stupid youth prank, but everywhere there were gay motifs - like a rainbow - exactly those points were painted. One could assume it's an anti-gay act," Breyer told The Local.

The vandalism likely happened late Saturday night or early Sunday, Breyer said. SUB representatives went to police on Monday, but the identity of the vandals remains unclear.

SUB organized the maypole with the cooperation of neighborhood officials, commissioning artists Robert C. Rore and Michael Borio to decorate the tablets that hang from the pole's crossbeams. Following local tradition, other organizations were to commission tablets in coming years until the maypole is full.

The project required city permits and cost more than €1,000 ($1,552).

"We are upset to an inordinate degree about this act of vandalism," SUB Director Lars Fröhlich said in a statement on Monday. "Five days ago the entire neighborhood - not just gays and lesbians - was putting this maypole up together and celebrating it with a party. Then a few people destroyed what many created with so much joy. This is totally unacceptable and makes us sad."

The grey paint cannot be washed off, Breyer said. Organizers are weighing whether to ask Rore and Borio to paint the tablets again or to leave the vandalism intact as an object lesson.

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