KREUZBERGED BERLIN

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

THE FAKE POETS: UHLAND AND KLEIST FROM VIKTORIAPARK

Here are several photos of two famous sculptures from Viktoriapark in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Out of six original and over 2-metre-tall hermas (sculptures with a head and torso as if growing out of a stone column) made by Berlin artists of great renown and unveiled in the park in 1898/1899, only three survived the last war.

Out of those three – presenting Heinrich von Kleist, Friedrich Rückert (a poet and translator who knew 30 languages!) and Ludwig Uhland – two made it until today. Rückert´s herma was stolen at some unknown point in time before 1989. To prevent the equally sudden vanishing of the other two marble statues, the borough ordered their replicas made of cast aluminium and had them painted white for that extra “looks-real” touch.

The original works of Karl Pracht (he made von Kleist) and of Max Kruse (his was Uhland) were moved to the courtyard of the Leibniz-Schule (Leibniz Grammar and Secondary School) in Schleiermacherstrasse 23.

So here it is: Viktoriapark houses only replicas of the two hermas. And judging by the way they are being treated by some of the park visitors, hiding the originals was a pretty neat trick.

One comment on “THE FAKE POETS: UHLAND AND KLEIST FROM VIKTORIAPARK

  1. berlioz1935
    February 13, 2014

    They were once welcoming visitors to Viktoria Park. They were there like old friends. They were thinking people. Last time I saw the last two remaining (Uhland and Kleist) I was shocked the way they had treated Kleist.
    In his essay, “Wissen, Schaffen, Zerstören, Erhalten” Heinrich von Kleist expresses the hope that one day people might reach the highest step in the art to create as surely as they have already been able to reach the peak in the art to destroy. How prophetic in the case of the statues of Viktoria Park. He further writes, “Creating and preserving is the opposite of destruction”. You would think this is self evident, but apparently not to those people who went to the park like grave robbers.
    Perhaps the two at the Leibniz Gymnasium need a good scrub. The principal should asks for volunteers among the students.

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