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Luther statues create colourful controversy in Wittenberg

DDP/DPA/The Local · 15 Aug 2010, 11:42

Published: 15 Aug 2010 11:42 GMT+02:00

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Artist Ottmar Hörl’s project replaces the bronze statue of the reformer which usually dominates the square, along with one of Philipp Melanchthon, another important figure of the Reformation.

These were removed from their pedestals in April to be cleaned ahead of the 500th anniversary in 2017 of Luther pinning his 95 theses on a Wittenberg church door, which is seen as the catalyst for the European Reformation.

Now the square is covered with the Luther figures, which are based on the bronze statue, but are less than life size at 98 centimetres tall.

Hörl has said this is to represent Luther’s own understanding of himself as on eye-level with common people. He said big memorials do not fit such a thinker.

“Luther is a figure who would have more likely made himself small than large,” he said.

“The memorials in Wittenberg are wrong, because Luther would have refused to have allowed himself to be put on a pedestal.”

Friedrich Schorlemmer, a theologian in Wittenberg has criticised Hörl’s project as tasteless, describing it as theological and aesthetic abuse.

Story continues below…

The plastic statues, in black, dark green, purple and bright blue, will be available for sale after they are removed from the square on September 12, for €250 each.

Hörl courted controversy with previous installations such as a collection of more than 1,000 garden gnomes giving the Hitler salute, which he took on an international tour, including a stop in Straubing, Bavaria. This was to signify that everyone has fascist thoughts, he said at the time.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

23:37 August 15, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I'm Lutheran. And I attended church this morning.

However, far too many Germans are athiest and therfore they will never reach the zenith. The country will continue to encounter frustration. To know Germany is to know that it has many serious problems.

The most intelligent people consider more things. Logic is the foundation of intellience, because it considers ALL POSSIBILITIES.

Trust me, there really is a God and He sees porn as being immoral.

Martin Luther was a postive person for Deutschland.
01:11 August 16, 2010 by William Thirteen
Luther - Germany's favorite anti-semite!


Unfortunately there are still many small Luthers running loose among the German population.
10:03 August 16, 2010 by Talonx
@ William Thirteen

He also was a book burner as was Plato. Most Lutherans don't know about his anti-semitism and book buring propensities. I usually like to bring out the fact about him publishing the first wildly circulated defamating and antisemitic tracts, " Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen".

@ Logic Guy

1.) nice hateful zenith. 2.) Your are a fallacy creating machine. How does God logically follow? Explain.
17:54 August 16, 2010 by William Thirteen
he is very, very, very dirty!
22:31 August 16, 2010 by wenddiver
I am glad he is being celebrated in Germany again. The Communists and Nazis have done such a good job of twisting his message that one has to be afraid that his message would disappear in Germany. He did say some very devastating things, while debating Jewish Theologians, and Catholic Theologians and other Protestant Theologians, but he was hardly unique at the time for believing that people who opposed his beliefs endangerd the Souls of the people they misled. His opponents used torture and death sentences, so in perspective words aren't so harsh.

It was a direct result of Luther's Reformation, that Oliver Cromwell let the Jews come back to England.

I wonder if the US Government will re-issue the Martin Luther Stamp for the Anniversary???

Anybody know an address you can write to to buy a statue????
02:09 August 17, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, everyone believes in something. If you base everything on science, then obviously you believe in something that is incomplete, because scientists still don't know the origins of organisms. Therefore the theory of God is more logical.

Logic is the only thing that is perfect, simply because it considers ALL POSSIBILITIES. From what I understand, Charles Darwin dismissed the possibility of there being a God. Such a position made him less intelligent.
14:28 August 17, 2010 by michael4096
@Logic Guy - Darwin was as god-fearing as you seem to be but much more logical. He knew that what he had done did not disprove god's existence but merely answered a question that previously was answered by inventing gods of various flavours. He was afraid that finding the real 'reason' for things like the existence of complex life would eventually make god redundant - but he still died a believer.

However, your assertion that any of this 'made him less intelligent' says far more about your intelligence than his.
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