It is a valuable piece of Hamburg city history: the huge mosaic of a worker at the boiler, which for decades adorned the stairwell of the former Holsten brewery in Altona-Nord. Now the work of art could end up in the garbage – if a buyer is not found soon.
It was an image intended to create identity. Since the 1960s, the wall mosaic showing a master brewer at the bottling plant has accompanied the workers on their way to the canteen. The image is held in a style that is somewhat reminiscent of the socialist realism with which workers were given hero status in the Soviet Union and East Germany.
Monument association wants to save the historical mosaic
It is not known who the artist of the Hamburg mosaic was. However, the monument association classifies the work as worthy of protection. According to Chairwoman Kristina Sassenscheidt, the mosaic expresses “the pride in the revival of the brewing industry after the Second World War” in Hamburg. The connection to the Hanseatic city is made clear by the blue ribbon that winds around the scene. It symbolizes the Elbe.
The mosaic was endangered for the first time during the demolition work that the real estate company Adler Group is currently carrying out on the site of the brewery, which was shut down in 2019. When the canteen building was about to fall, the monument association got involved and convinced the Adler Group to preserve the 2.80 meter high and 3.85 meter wide mosaic.
The group, which had recently gotten into economic difficulties, showed itself to be cooperative and had the disc, weighing more than six tons, cut out of the wall in a complex maneuver. Since then, the mosaic has stood outside under the open sky in the entrance area of the former brewery, where it is exposed to the weather.
Exposed to the weather: the work of art urgently needs a buyer. Christiane Maier/fr
Buyers wanted: Two breweries could not accommodate the mosaic and jumped off
Two solutions that came about through the mediation of the monument association failed. Both customers were breweries. One changed their plans for the new building at short notice, the second made a miscalculation with the planned area, so that the mosaic no longer fitted in the place.
Time is running out. Adler intends to demolish the building against which the mosaic is currently leaning. That’s why the work of art has to go. only where? There is a theoretical possibility of interim storage. But transporting the six-ton pane is expensive. The monument association would prefer to have the mosaic delivered directly to its future location.
“We are grateful that the Adler Group saved the mosaic from demolition and would be very happy if this beautiful piece of art and brewery history found a suitable new place,” says Kristina Sassenscheidt.
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