Monday

27th May 2019

Euro sign sculptures in Frankfurt face uncertain future

  • The euro sculpture could be auctioned off (Photo: Valentina Pop)

The two large blue and yellow euro sign sculptures, one located outside the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and another recently taken down by Frankfurt Airport, are facing uncertain futures.

German artist Ottmar Hörl made them both in 2001. The sculptures, in his view, would be understood as symbols of a unified euro at a time when the currency was still in its infancy.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

But one evening last week, the smaller of the two sculptures, was quietly removed by the Frankfurt Airport authorities. The 5-metre piece had stood for around 11 years near a ‘Sky line’ transport ramp linking the airport terminals.

The airport’s spokesman Robert A. Payne told this website that the sculpture had been removed for safety issues and to open up space for the eventual expansion in 2013 of the airport’s terminal 3.

The electrical display panels that light up the sculpture at night no longer function properly and no longer adhere to Germany safety code norms, said Payne.

“We don’t have at the moment a particular spot where we could install it. We first have to see the particular repairs and the costs but at the moment its been dismantled for safety reasons, ” said Payne.

The sculpture is now in a nearby storage area.

Selling the euro sign, an option

Meanwhile, the euro sculpture outside the 40-storey-high skyscraper of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt could be auctioned off.

The Frankfurter Kultur Komitee, founded in 2002 with the aim of encouraging cultural awareness through “corporate citizenship”, owns the 15-metre tall euro sculpture.

Its chair, Professor Manfred Pohl, told EUobserver that the sculpture could go to auction should the ECB and the city of Frankfurt no longer want it. Pohl said the piece is worth some €1.5 million in its current state.

The ECB plans on moving into a new double-towered skyscraper sometime in 2014 but the sculpture may either be left behind, moved to the new location, or sold altogether.

Pohl said he hopes a final decision will be made within the coming weeks but that the ECB “is not very clear at the moment”. The ECB, says Pohl, told him they will make a decision when they move into their new office space.

“My preferred opinion is that we bring the sculpture in front of the new European Central Bank building,” said Pohl.

Pohl noted the city of Frankfurt may also want to keep the sculpture at its present location.

A spokesperson for the ECB said the sculpture’s fate lies with the culture committee and not with the bank.

Investigation

The European Central Bank: a hamstrung firefighter

The European Central Bank is an important firefighter in the euro-crisis. But increasingly divergent eurozone economies are limiting the effects of its policies and democratic scrutiny remains an issue.

Analysis

Sibiu: EU leaders prepare post-Brexit show of unity

With the European elections just three weeks away, the EU-27 will try to set the agenda for the next years for the EU institutions. But with persisting divisions on key issues, unity will be an achievement in itself.

Exclusive

Ombudsman backs EUobserver on MEP expenses

The European Parliament should have granted access to documents on a decision about how transparent MEPs should be in future with their office expenses, says EU Ombudsman.

EU want Facebook pan-EU advert fix for May elections

EU institutions want Facebook to relax its rules, to allow pan-European political groups to carry out EU-wide campaigns. Facebook has yet to implement the demands - posing questions on the extent to which Europe relies on the US tech firm.

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Magazine

Explained: What is the European Parliament?

While domestic political parties often use the European Parliament as a dumping ground for unwanted politicians - and a majority of citizens don't bother to vote - the parliament, over the years, has become a dominant force in the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us