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Munich's makeshift Michael Jackson memorial sparks bitter row

The Local · 9 Apr 2010, 13:47

Published: 09 Apr 2010 13:47 GMT+02:00

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Since the US singer died suddenly in June 2009, fans in the Bavarian capital have set up a makeshift pilgrimage site at the base of a statue honouring the Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus on Promenadeplatz.

They picked the location because the self-appointed King of Pop once stayed in the luxury hotel Bayerischer Hof across the street. But the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported this week that the spontaneous outpouring of grief has sparked a bitter row with Munich residents less enamoured with Jackson.

The candles, hand-written posters and pictures adorning the de Lassus statue have apparently become an eyesore to some, leading them to strew bird feed around the impromptu memorial. The paper said pigeons descend upon it, overturning fan offerings and soiling expressions of eternal devotion to Jackson.

The sabotage distresses Jackson fan Sandra Mazur, but it also encourages her to continue with her campaign for a permanent memorial dedicated to the singer in Munich.

“We’re grateful for the current memorial, but we want our own monument, a statute that will stand for the next 100 years,” she told Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Mazur estimates that a life-sized bronze statue with Jackson in one of his signature poses – either standing on his toes with hat in hand or doing the moonwalk – will cost around €70,000. Collecting donations in her spare time, she said the fans would gladly give the statue to the city for free. But that’s the problem – Munich officials don’t seem particularly keen on having a memorial to the King of Pop.

“Munich has a bad case of monument-itis,” city councilman Reinhard Bauer told the paper. “Nothing has been decided for good, but there will not be further monuments on Promenadeplatz.”

But Mazur said the Jackson fan community will continue coming to the square until they have a permanent place to remember him. Their petition already has over 1,000 signatures and they intend to deliver it personally to Munich Mayor Christian Ude.

Story continues below…

“We knew from the start it wouldn’t be easy,” Mazur said.

And unless the city suddenly gets behind the initiative, it appears as if Orlande de Lassus – one of the world’s most popular musicians nearly 500 years ago – will have to continue to share his memorial with his modern counterpart and the saboteur pigeons.

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Your comments about this article

15:00 April 9, 2010 by Clapoti
Why would Munich have a memorial for Michael Jackson... it doesn't make any sense. Those people should just get over it and the city shouldn't tolerate this.
15:01 April 9, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
I once played a three night gig at the Bayerischer Hof. People sang, people danced. We had fans!

I'm expecting big things, memorial wise, when I pass.
18:04 April 9, 2010 by michael4096
So, we have a talented young man, extremely popular, shy, pale, lover of music, prepared to work hard to earn money but spent like crazy, many contradictions concerning sexuality, mental stability and awareness of reality but loved building fairytale castles and make-believe.

Is anyone surprised the bavarians love him? Just don't be surprised when they rename him ludwig iii
21:41 April 9, 2010 by Beynch
Michael Jackson in Munich??? This would be a completely inappropriate accouterment in Munich. In Munich of all places??? That's as idiotic as those, here in New York, who want to rename a subway station in Brooklyn after him!! While I recognize that his talent has a place in music history, Michael Jackson has no known connection to Munich. He was raised in Gary, Indiana(a suburb of Chicago), and lived in Santa Ynez, Califorina(north of Los Angeles), he has zero connection to Munich. I will never again spend my money Munich if you stoop to such lows. And this is from someone many times has boogied on the disco floor to "Billie Jean" and "Beat it". Thank you.
09:16 April 10, 2010 by biker hotel harz
I think I'll erect a memorial to my dad when he passes away. He worked in Germany for all of ..................... one week. Surely that's enough to justify a concrete ediface in the Harz?
16:34 April 10, 2010 by wenddiver
NUTS! is too short to post according to moderatot (must be ten characters), so new thought is "NUTS!"
19:44 April 11, 2010 by bugger
Why shouldn't there be a memorial in Munich? He had many fans there and toured there; one of his most beloved DVD concerts was filmed in Munich. It serves as a great marketing tool for your tourism industry. Unfortunately, the nasty sentiments of many on this forum and others in Munich who oppose a permanent memorial and actively work to deface the makeshift one also work to erase all the international interest in visiting Munich.

@Beynch spend your money when/how you wish, but that subway station was the site of the filming of one of his most famous videos. Many stations are named after many people. Why the uproar over that one? Brooklyn loved Michael as did many other places around the world. Brooklyn held a birthday party for him last year where the whole entire borough was invited. News of that spread worldwide.

@michael4096 what "contradictions concerning sexuality"? He was a heterosexual man who preferred to keep the details of his lovelife private. He had his marriages and romances, but preferred not to kiss and tell. Now if you consider a man who behaves as a gentleman a contradiction...

If you want to read the truth about how Michael Jackson was relentlessly persecuted by the media visit the website for MJIL: the Michael Jackson International Legion. The media lies about a lot of stuff. Michael Jackson was just one of those things.
01:24 April 13, 2010 by cocovelvet

Well said buddy !!! Kudus to you ...... some people's comments just don't carry weight, rather they just follow the wind. Michael Jackson was persecuted by the media as well as those people who felt they had the right and ability to do it, moreso those who just don't have any idea about Michael Jackson............

...jealousy and envy .
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