Art installation in Bonn

Hundreds of Beethoven statues fill Münsterplatz

Raus aus dem Karton: 700 lächelnde Beethoven in Grün und Gold will Ottmar Hörl auf dem Münsterplatz platzieren.

Unpacking them from the cartons: 700 smiling Beethovens in green and gold. Sculptor Ottmar Hörl has placed them as an art installation on Münsterplatz in Bonn city center.

BONN. As of Friday, Beethoven statues have transformed Münsterplatz in Bonn city center.  Organizers of the art installation have been surprised by the enormous interest. Visitors will have two weeks to enjoy the spectacle.

Beethoven is for everyone - not only musically, but also in plastic.  The Bürger für Beethoven (Citizens for Beethoven) have transformed Münsterplatz together with City-Marketing Bonn and the internationally renowned conceptual artist Ottmar Hörl.  They have filled it with hundreds of smiling statues of the city's most important son.

The project is quite a sensation.  Interest was so great that the sculptor, Ottmar Hörl had to   reserve two evenings, Monday and Tuesday, for a talk about the Beethoven sculpture project.  Stephan Eisel, chairman of Citizens for Beethoven, spoke with the sculpture expert about his work, the essence of art and the success of the new installation "Unser Ludwig" (“Our Ludwig”), which has been much better received than the initiators had expected.

Originally, a certain skepticism had prevailed. "There were many hurdles in the run-up," Eisel said on Monday evening. "We had to come to an agreement with the artist, which could have been difficult. We had to be able to use Münsterplatz for two weeks, which was considered impossible. And we had to find at least 500 sponsors so that the project could take place."

In the meantime, nearly 1,100 of the plastic Beethovens have been sold.  Hörl explained that he had 1,000 square meters of space on Münsterplatz to work with, and he had to figure out how he could place all of those Beethovens within that space to make his art installation. “I cannot fit more than 700 Beethovens,” he explained.  Of course, every buyer will receive his Beethoven. Those that are part of the art installation can be picked up when it is dismantled on June 1 and 2.  All the others can be picked up at Haus des Karnevals.

The enormous interest in the smiling Ludwig surprised all those involved, especially Hörl. "Beethoven’s trademark look and at the same time, stigma, was always that the corners of his mouth were pulled down. But you can't write music like that if you're a sourpuss. That's why I wanted to put a new notion of Beethoven into the world, which, however, always involves a risk. I am extremely glad that the people of Bonn are proving to be so open."

According to Hörl, the concept of producing a series of Beethovens also makes sense: "Remember that Beethoven can already be found everywhere - in Japan, in China, in the USA, in Europe. His music is played and reproduced worldwide. That's how my sculptures should be." At the very least, these sculptures should soon be on display in numerous front yards and terraces in Bonn.

Unser Ludwig: If you would like to have your own Beethoven in green or gold, you can get more information at www.unser-ludwig.com.

(Orig. text: Thomas Kölsch; Translation: ck)