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1942, “Temple of Aphrodite” in Bauernberg Park

Aphrodite is encased by art students in May 2008 as a reminder that it was a present from Hitler to the City of Linz. As a result the municipal authorities remove the statue.

“Aphrodite”, a work by the Mecklenburg sculptor and NSDAP member Wilhelm Wandschneider, came to Hitler’s attention in an art exhibition in Munich in 1940. He bought it and had it installed in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. He had a bronze cast made of it as a gift for his “home town”. He had it erected inside a round ‘temple’ in Bauernberg Park on Gugl hill. This took place in April 1942 without ceremony. The mayor, Dr. Leo Sturma, sent Hitler a thank you telegram.

This present from Hitler to the City of Linz stood unnoticed for decades in the pillared pavilion in Bauernberg Park. In May 2008, during a project, “Hohlräume der Geschichte [The Hollow Places of History]”, a group of young art students drew attention to the history of this statue: they packed “Aphrodite” in a wooden crate with the inscription “Linz, 18th April 1942. The sculpture on Gugl hill is to be unveiled without ceremony. The Führer presents it to the City of Linz. Linz, 13th May 2008. The sculpture is made visible without ceremony”. Subsequently the statue was removed by the municipal authorities and disappeared into the depot of the Linz Stadtmuseum [City Museum].