Martin Luther has Wittenberg in a stir 500 years on

Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:00pm EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - About 800 colorful statuettes of 16th-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther are popping up in the eastern German town of Wittenberg, where Luther first railed against some practices of the Roman Catholic church almost 500 years ago.

The one-meter high plastic figurines in red, green, blue and black are the creation of the artist Ottmar Hoerl and are intended to replace a statue of Martin Luther on the town square while it is being renovated.

"My Luther statuettes look just like the original, except for the feet," Hoerl told German press agency DDP.

The art installation has stirred the ire of some Protestant theologians who say the statuettes, which can be seen on Hoerl's website www.ottmarhoerl.de, make a mockery of Luther's achievements.

Hoerl's art has caused controversy before. In 2009, he created 1,250 garden gnomes with their right arms outstretched in the Nazi salute.

(Writing by Max Chrambach, editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Plastic statuettes of 16th-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther, which are part of the art installation 'Martin Luther - I'm standing here' by German artist Ottmar Hoerl, are pictured in the main square in Wittenberg, eastern Germany August 11, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>