Hitler-salute garden gnome lands artist in trouble
Hitler salutes have been illegal in Germany since World War II, but the prosecutor's office said that investigators may establish that the garden gnome is in fact ridiculing the Third Reich.Berlin -- German prosecutors said Thursday that they have launched an enquiry into whether a garden gnome with its right arm raised in a Hitler salute in a Nuremberg art gallery is against the law.
"The investigation is ongoing and people are being interviewed," Wolfgang Traeg, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in the southern city, told AFP.
Hitler salutes and Nazi symbols have been illegal in Germany since World War II, but Traeg said that investigators may establish that the garden gnome is in fact ridiculing the Third Reich.
"It is also a question of art a bit ... and a garden gnome," he said. "It will also depend on what the artist and the owners of the gallery have to say for themselves about the whole thing."
According to media reports, the artist in question is German-born Ottmar Hoerl, who has designed numerous exhibitions and projects in public spaces -- and since 2005 has been president of the Academy for Fine Arts in Nuremberg.