Monday, September 17, 2018

A Foal Named Holbein

The sculpture of a foal on a small lawn triangle defined by Holbeinstraße, Hans-Thoma-Straße, and Günterstalstraße has a cult status in Freiburg. The Holbeinpferdchen was created in concrete by the sculptor Werner Gürtner in 1936.

The Holbeinpferd in a slim state (©joergens.mi)
In 1980 the sculpture became famous when in a cloak-and-dagger operation an unknown “painter” gave the foal a new look. Other painters followed suit, so in 1981 the city decided to clean the foal from all those layers of paint.

My soccer club honored in 1987 for its 100th anniversary.
The Hamburger Sportverein (HSV), a founding member
of Germany's  Bundesliga, was relegated to the Second Ligue last year
for the first time in its history. (©Wikimedia)
But the painting of the sculpture had become a trend, and again a layer on a layer made the foal bulkier. More cleanings followed in 1985, 1987, and 1997.

Mr. Hellstern remembers the 1997 operation well, “We blasted off the layers of paint within two to three days. How long it took us to remove a layer depended on the quality of the paint. Some layers took several hours to remove, while others took only a few minutes. All in all, there were certainly between 50 and 70 layers of paint."

Present look (©BZ/Ingo Schneider)
Since then the Holbeinpferdchen has put on weight again with an estimated 150 layers of paint. Eyes and balls have become invisible and many drops of paint running down its belly have dried. Once standing out for its graceful stature, the foal became an elephant. City official Matthias Wolpert moans, “It’s perverted with such an amount of paint.”

Somebody tried to count the present layers of paint (©joergens.mi)
While in the past years the city had “earmarked” no money for cleaning, today the expertise for removing the paint is no longer available. Experts are scratching their heads about how to do the job.

1 comment:

  1. Hallo Dear Red Baron,
    Vielen herzlichen Dank uns diese schöne Story vom Holbeinpferdchen mitzuteilen.
    Besonders lustig ist es, dass es immer neu angemalt wird aber von wem?