Bonn. After the theft of two Beethoven figures, the association has reacted with increased security measures. The installation is no longer freely accessible at all times.
As only 699 of the original 700 Beethovens are smiling on Münsterplatz since the early hours of Sunday – one figure is still missing after a theft on Sunday – City-Marketing Bonn has now increased security measures.
The installation will now be surrounded at night by barriers placed at a distance of 1.5 metres. As City-Marketing managing director Maike Reinhardt confirmed to the GA, the fences will be erected at nightfall, so from around 8pm to 8am. During evening and night time hours, the installation will no longer be accessible and leaning over to it will be prevented. The security service will be strengthened. An employee will stand on each side of the square. Halogen lights will illuminate the square. There will also be a security guard with a dog. City-Marketing expressed regret at the measures on Facebook with the words: “Unfortunately there is no other way.”
Security services, fences, lights and the use of a dog are now pushing up the costs of the project. Reinhard confirmed this for the association, which will finance the additional measures from the proceeds of the sale of the figures. As well as the privately financed security measures, business people have also contacted the Gabi police station and asked them to keep an even closer eye on Münsterplatz.
Early on Sunday morning, at around 5.45am, two men were observed by security personnel. Police reported they had leaned over the barrier in front of the security guards and taken one of the green Beethoven statues. When they realised they had been caught, they ran away. One of the thieves, a 32-year-old man, was detained by the security guards until the police arrived. The second man fled.
A patrol car team discovered the missing Beethoven figure in front of a house in Brüdergasse a short time later and brought it back to its remaining 698 companions. The Criminal Investigation Department 36 has taken over the investigation of the case and is looking for the missing 700th Ludwig.
Original text: Anna-Maria Beekes, Anja Wollschlaeger.