Michaela Melián: "Maria Luiko, Trauernde, 1938" © Foto: Tobias Hase

Michaela Melián: "Maria Luiko, Trauernde, 1938"

The artist is working on the covering of the Neptune Fountain in the Old Botanical Garden that was built during the Nazi era.

The Neptune Fountain was built in 1937 in order to create a place shaped by National Socialist ideology with a connection to the Nazi party district. The sculptor Joseph Wackerle and the architect Oswald Bieber, who were commissioned to design the Neptune Fountain, are on Adolf Hitler’s list of “God-gifted” artists.

Michaela Melián will cover the questionable Neptune figure temporarily with a mesh tarpaulin. The material of the foil is known from construction sites – but this one is printed with an image of a work by the artist Maria Luiko from 1938 entitled “Mourning”. The Munich artist was deported by the SS to Kaunas in November 1941 along with almost 1,000 other people who were persecuted as Jews, and murdered there five days later. The covering with the motif of an anonymous mourning woman is a meaningful counter-response to the ruler pose of the powerful male Neptune body.