Saturday, February 13, 2010

No Beethoven

At the end of the 19th century a committee of civic worthies was formed with the purpose of creating a monument to Ludwig von Beethoven in the center of Paris. By the time work actually began on the project in 1909, the location had shifted – through various bureaucratic manipulations – from central Paris to the nearby forest of Vincennes. The sculptor who won the commission managed to complete the monument's base (with four winged seraphs at the four corners representing four of Beethoven's greatest compositions). But then World War I came along. Before there was time enough to execute the planned reclining statue of a semi-nude Beethoven, Germany invaded France. Sad to say, the sculptor went off to fight for his country and ended up dying in the trenches along with so many others. Four years of futile carnage from which nobody learned anything. To this day, Beethoven's Parisian monument exists only as a large vacant carved plinth deep among the trees of Vincennes.

Image source is here.