Wittenberg, Germany – The East German city of Wittenberg experienced an invasion—of 800 small, plastic statues of Martin Luther. Luther, a sixteenth-century Protestant reformer, first railed against the practices of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg. So when the large statue of Luther that usually inhabits the town square was taken down for renovation, the city turned to artist Ottmar Hörl to create the plastic substitutes called MARTIN LUTHER—I’M STANDING HERE. Hörl created the one-meter-high figures to look exactly like the permanent statue.
Some theologians were upset by the installation, saying it mocks Luther’s achievements, but causing controversy is not new to Hörl. In 2009, he created an installation of 1,250 garden gnomes with their right arms raised in the Nazi salute. Hörl is the president of the Academy for Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany. He lives in Wertheim in Baden-Württemberg.