Thursday, July 19, 2018

Verunstaltungsverbot

Interdiction of disfigurement (sort of a double negative) is a municipal act that for the first time in Freiburg’s history may be applied in the case of some blue-painted parking spaces in my part of town, the Wiehre.

©BZ/Michael Bamberger
A Freiburg real estate agent wanted to animate the parking grounds in front of his office and had the gray asphalt painted in a brilliant blue. Now he is singing the blues for some of the Wiehre residents became upset and contacted the municipal legal board of construction. The board stated that the chosen color represents “a disfigurement in the sensitive and high-quality surroundings of the Wiehre” and asked the “painter” to zurückbauen (deconstruct) the surface bringing it into its initial state; otherwise, legal action will follow.

A poll among Freiburgers showed that 73% are in favor of this touch of vivid color, but those do not live in the near neighborhood. The “painter” is astonished by the discussion. "I can't understand the whole theater," he says. “In my neighborhood, there are garden zones in front of houses that have been asphalted. Is that nicer?", he asks. “In addition, some houses in the Wiehre are painted in a similar shade of blue. I am aware that taste is open to dispute - but in this case, an innovative and creative idea is simply flattened". Now the causer is looking for a compromise and even willing to discuss the color of the surface with Freiburg’s legal board of construction.

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