A very special doll is looking for a home in neustadt

When you drive past it in the car, you really have to look very closely. Only then you have the chance to discover the not so small stele right next to bundesstrabe 4. But the shadowy existence of the work of art halay up between the siemen traffic circle and the haarbrucken exit was soon to come to an end. Martin stingl (SPD), the third mayor of the city of neustadt, who is responsible for cultural affairs, assured the tageblatt: "we are looking for a reasonable and adequate place for the stele."

The work of art, which shows a puppet on a broken bridge, caught the eye of two political pioneers in the coburg region at almost the same time: jurgen W. Heike (CSU) and peter jacobi (FDP). Within a few weeks, heike even wrote to the city asking them to remove the stele from the muddy spot next to the truck stop on the B4.

The former secretary of state heike openly admits: "we know that we know nothing." When and how the artwork was erected, not even neustadt's local historian isolde kalter can determine with one hundred percent certainty.

Her father, helmut scheuerich, was also a local historian, and there is an entry in the 1993 volume of "the history of the town of neustadt bei coburg in the twentieth century" – but it is more concerned with the release of the bypass in december 1975 than with the work of art. What the sculpture is supposed to express is a question for isolde kalter: "of course, the doll is also symbolic of neustadt's doll and toy manufacturing industry."

With champagne and miner

At the time of the release of the bypass in the middle of the 70s, the stele was not yet allowed to stand. Peter jacobi (who was a member of the state parliament for the FDP from 1978 to 1982) can still remember it, together with ernst bergmann, the mayor of neustadt at the time (in office from 1958 to 1984), and "a glass of champagne in his hand" to have been present at the celebration of the erection of the stele.

Even then, jacobi remembers, he was "mablos enthusiastic" been from the artistic design of the doll. But jacobi, who is still active as a member of the district council, also says: "after that, I completely lost sight of the stele.

In the town hall, it is assumed that the figure is a reference to the concept of the "bavarian doll city" was erected in 1981. This year, at any rate, martin stingl, who knows the figure from his hikes in the neustadt meadow, calls it "quite familiar is.

The mayor of kulturburg agrees with heike and jacobi: the current location is not suitable. "No one stops here anymore – and no one sees the figure either", says stingl with the knowledge that the former parking lot is no longer even designated as such today.

It is a little more difficult to find the answer to the question of who owns the stele. A few telephone calls – also between the state building authority and the city of neustadt – are necessary before it becomes clear that the building authority is the owner of the work of art. This is not really surprising, after all, next door the state road 2708 and since a few years and a rededication the federal road 4 passed by it.

The upcoming expansion of the B4 between haarbrucken and the siemenskreisel with the relocation of the railroad bridge will mean that the figure will not be able to remain where it is now for much longer. This is what martin stingl is convinced of after talking to the city's building department. Jurgen W. Heike would have preferred the stele to be located in the middle of a traffic circle as a representative feature of new town. "If it can be done with a monk, it can be done with a doll" says the former secretary of state with a view to the design of the traffic circle in monchroden.

But not every traffic circle is suitable for the installation of the stele. After consultation with the state building office, martin stingl brings the news that the siemens traffic circle is not suitable for the "doll city monument" in question: because cars are (allowed to) drive too fast there, no fixed obstacle can be placed in the middle of the structure for safety reasons.

A few hundred meters away the situation might be different. With the new haarbrucker traffic circle, on the one hand the speed is not so high and on the other hand the city of neustadt is responsible in terms of traffic law. Of course, the administration would first have to discuss the issue with specialists, but stingl could live with this solution: "if it is legally permissible – why not??"

Why not on the market?

Peter jacobi, as a non-neustadter, does not want to interfere in the decision of the neustadters", but he does have a personal suggestion. Why not wait for the redesign of the market square in neustadt and then find a suitable place there?? Jacobi believes that neustadt and its connection to the doll industry is definitely worth remembering.

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