The statue "Primavera" (1957, bronze) by Fritz During in the foyer of the OSL building

With a decision of February 14, 2023, the Executive University Board adopted a request of the Committee for Equality and Diversity and had the artwork "Primavera" in the foyer of the OSL building be dismantled. At the suggestion of the Committee for Equality and Diversity , the statue, on loan from the state of Schleswig-Holstein, is to be returned to the lender.

The statue, created in 1957, is an allegory of spring and - as the Italian title suggests - a reference to the history of art. It depicts a standing, nude woman with her arms stretched upwards. The statue was originally allocated to the PH Flensburg in Mürwik in the 1950s as part of the Kunst-am-Bau sponsorship and received a prominent place in the foyer of the university's main building when it relocated to Sandberg.

Due to its prominent positioning, the statue acted, so to speak, as the university's "receptionist" for students, lecturers and guests. It is natural to understand this representative position as an expression of the aesthetic as well as ethical values with which the EUF self-identifies. Therefore, it is legitimate and necessary to critically question the artwork and the values that are directly and indirectly negotiated with it, also from a historical perspective. In addition, it is important to reflect upon one's own exhibition practices, given that they always creates meaning by themselves. After an intensive discussion, the majority of the Committee for Equality and Diversity came to the conclusion that the image of women expressed by the "Primavera" statue does not reflect the social values of the university. The location of the statue so far would clearly contradict this assessment.

Fritz During left behind an extremely rich œuvre in Schleswig-Holstein and especially in Kiel. His main theme was the human being. His main field of work in the 1950s and 1960s was art on buildings (Kunst am Bau). This included large sculptural works for the exteriors of schools, for other public buildings and for the ecclesiastical sector.

At the beginning of the 1950s During received his first commissions for works of art in public spaces in Kiel. Especially through the regulations Kunst am Bau, a lucrative commission opportunity developed for him in connection with the large number of new buildings. The majority of his works for buildings in Kiel were created in the period from 1955 to 1962. In the following years, until 1972, he increasingly created art on buildings for places in the rest of Schleswig-Holstein. Most of these works are on school grounds and are in the realistic-figurative tradition of sculpture. (...) Thus they are typical examples of art on buildings of the 1950s and 1960s.

Small sculptural works for the private sector were another pillar of Fritz During's art. After 1972 During received hardly any public commissions, which is to be explained in no small part by the change in the understanding of art on the part of the members of the selection committees.


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