Karl marx monument in chemnitz. Image: self/cc by-sa-3.0
The city council in trier agreed to the chinese offer to donate a statue of marx to the city
World history has often been written in trier. Founded by the romans as augusta treverorum more than 2000 years ago, it was the residence of emperor constantine, among others, who helped christianity to break through as a state religion. And almost 200 years ago a certain karl marx saw the light of day here, who made it to the "the most influential theorist of communism in the 19th century. Century" (wikipedia). The city celebrates the philosopher’s birthday in 2018 with a rough exhibition.
A foretaste of the anniversary was given this week by the trier city council. The formally still communist china offered trier a statue of marx as a gift. And the city council had to decide whether to accept the gift.
Karl marx on the agenda – that is quite rare in german municipal parliaments. And at first it seemed that the city council was going to let the opportunity for a special council meeting pass: although the council had already noticed that an unusually large number of press had arrived. Sound and video recordings were approved by the majority. Also an auberplanmabige meeting interruption was announced, so that the council people could give interviews. But then followed residents’ question time and the usual agenda items. Council routine.
But late in the evening it became still exciting. Item 17.1 the item on the agenda, which dealt with karl marx and his work and his dedication in trier, but also with today’s china and finally also with city partnerships, because the donation comes from xiamen, trier’s chinese twin city.
Richard leuckefeld (grune) stated that trier itself was to some extent responsible for the current situation: "for decades, those responsible in this city have avoided paying tribute to karl marx, for example, through his presence in the cityscape", he criticized. China is now poking into this gap. He pleaded for the amption, that the people of trier should "uninhibitedly deal with their rough son". And also nikolay stockle-jacob (spd) recalled how he had wondered as a newcomer 30 years ago, neither a karl marx square nor a strabe nor a cafe of this name had found.
Karl marx house in trier. Image: berthold werner/cc by-sa-3.0
Block formation in the city council
How the new statue should look like, one could see by the way already. At the beginning of march, a two-dimensional silhouette made of wood stood at the planned location, the simeonstiftplatz. The statue is to be 4.90 meters tall and stand on a 1.40 meter high pedestal. It was designed by the chinese sculptor wu weishan.
The fact that the statue is already triggering such discussions shows that the amption is correct, the spd argued. "That’s exactly what art is for: it should stimulate, enable positions, create debates. From this point the statue was already very successful", stated markus nohl (spd). The spd, whose party foundation, the friedrich ebert foundation, also maintains the karl marx house in trier, advocated for the statue.
And also the other parties from the camp of the old labor parties, the left and the local spd breakaway ubt: "karl marx is one of the great sons of our city, who has not been honored adequately for a long time", found hermann kleber (ubt). Trier should have the coarseness to stand by one of its most famous burghers, said theresia gorgen (left). She praised marx for his "a fitting analysis of capitalism" and spoke out in favor of a critical examination of marx.