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Mai 2019

- Karl Marx in Trier -

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Finally, the time had come: we had arranged the date and place for a meeting. And so, Eva from Odessa, Ute from Hamburg, Christiane from Normandy and me from Berlin travelled to Koblenz to spend a few days together there and to revive 'the good old times', which now lay almost four decades ago. I had suggested the place and the agenda. When the Mosel boat trip was cancelled the next day, however, I had no alternative idea up my sleeve.


"How about Trier?" Eva suggested. "Yesterday the Karl Marx statue by Wu Weishan was unveiled there. We could have a look at it. The People's Republic of China gave it to Trier for Karl Marx's 200th birthday." – "Great, and I'll paint it," I said immediately pleased. – "And in the meantime, we can have a look at the city. After all, it was once one of the largest in the Roman Empire," the others agreed.
When we arrived there, it was already the afternoon. "Wouldn't you rather come with us? There's not enough time for painting anyway," Eva suggested. – "Oh no, you can pick me up in an hour," I said confidently and remained sitting in front of the bronze statue, while the other three left for their tour. But as so many underestimate the intellectual greatness of Karl Marx, I, in turn, was wrong about the material greatness of his portrayal. Only at the third attempt did I correctly grasp the proportions. I thought his head was quite successfully done, the body was only roughly sketched, but the hour was already over and all three stood expectantly beside me. "Done," I said and closed the drawing pad, because the painting was already so harmonious for me.


"Why did you want to paint Marx, why not the Porta Nigra?" Eva asked me later in the car. – "I had a special experience with Marx." – "I don't quite get that," my friend wondered – "Yes! At the last book fair in Abu Dhabi I was holding a first edition of 'Capital, Volume 1' with his handwritten dedication for César de Paepe in my hand. And while I was leafing through this rather small, relatively thin book and discovered a pencil correction, I suddenly realised that such an 'original' is really something special. As if the hand that wrote the dedication still clings to it." – "The book would certainly not be cheap," posited Ute. – "Quite expensive even," I said. – "Combien?" Christiane wanted to know. – "Guess how much!” – "100,000?“ – “200,000?” – "500,000. One million?" – I shook my head and then said, still impressed by the number: "It was up for 1.5 million euros." – "What!" everyone shouted at almost the same time in surprise. – "And did anyone buy it?" asked Eva. – "No, not at this fair, although China was the host country," I replied. "But at some point, someone will certainly invest their money in 'capital' as a capital investment." – "Time creates the added value for originals, isn't it?" Ute pointed out. – "Not added value, the price," corrected Christiane. – "Well, and that's what we went to Trier for. So that you could paint good old Karl," Eva said, changing the subject. The three of us laughed because the trip to Trier was her idea. "It was good, wasn't it?" – "Yes, it was a great trip." – "Et demain?" – "Tomorrow we're going to the Rhine."

 

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