FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German artist Anselm Kiefer wants to buy a shut-down nuclear power plant, he told a German magazine, just as Europe's biggest economy phases out atomic power due to safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster in Japan earlier this year.
Kiefer, known for using straw, poured lead and forged iron on large-scale canvases, has his eye on a plant in western Germany that was mothballed by utility RWE in 1988.
"This nuclear power plant is so fantastic. Wonderful. That is my Pantheon. I am fascinated by nuclear power plants," Kiefer said in an interview published by weekly magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday.
Kiefer, whose art often revolves around the themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust, said he was motivated by a desire to preserve a part of German history, which he said the Germans give up too readily and too quickly.
"Nuclear power plants are a fantastic form of energy generation. That is a perpetuum mobile, there is something mythological to it," he said.
He said he wrote to RWE Chief Executive Juergen Grossmann and was certain he would get at least the cooling tower of the plant, whose nuclear fuel rods were removed nine years ago.
"Now I am thinking about what to do there. I definitely don't want to paint cows and clouds onto it," he said.
A spokeswoman for RWE Power said no decision had been made yet on whether to sell parts of the plant to Kiefer, and that any sale could happen next year at the earliest.
Separately, German artist Ruppe Koselleck said he is using the proceeds of the sale of art using oil and tar recovered from beaches to buy shares of British oil company BP.
He now has 1,768 of BP's 18.9 billion BP shares, he told Austrian newspaper Die Presse in an interview published in its online edition.
At that rate, it will take him 268 years to complete a hostile takeover, he said.
Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford