FRANKFURT – The most widely used symbol for stories on the European Central Bank is now up for sale: The big blue euro sculpture outside the central bank’s former headquarters in Frankfurt.
The 14-meter-tall sculpture was erected along with the introduction of euro bank notes in 2001 and has weathered the financial and the sovereign debt crises. But now, it has simply become too expensive to maintain.
The iconic art piece by German artist Ottmar Hörl has been maintained by the non-profit organization Frankfurter Kultur Komitee for the past 21 year under the leadership of Manfred Pohl. Pohl said increasing vandalism and lack of sponsoring forced the committee’s decision to auction off the piece by this October.
“We have contacted 110 banks over the past 12 months, and 90 didn’t even bother answering,” Pohl said.
The ECB, which has contributed €15,000 annually to maintenance, has also not been interested in boosting its support, and it didn’t attend a round-table in April that aimed to secure funding, Pohl said.
Pohl said his organization has already received expressed interest from numerous individuals and companies, however. So anyone who’s a big fan of the single currency and wants to acquire art, more information is here — but be aware that the sculpture weighs 50 tons.