Cathedral in Germany axes ‘racist’ 1920s statue of black king from its nativity

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“It’s about the representation of the black king by the artist. He’s serving racist stereotypes,” the dean added.

Melchior is among 23 figures carved for the ministry’s nativity in the 1920s by Ulm-based sculptor and wood-carver Martin Scheible.

Reacting to the decision, the bishop of the State of Württemberg, which covers Ulm, Frank Otfried July said that “hiding” Germany’s history was not the right way to go. 

“To hang something like that or put it away or hide it in a museum, I think it’s the worse way,” he told DPA. “It makes no sense to retrospectively adapt things to our current convictions. You have to explain them and place them in a critical assessment today.”

Gohl said that he wants the community to debate the future for the Melchior figurine, with a full decision to be made “in peace and quiet” in the New Year.

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