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Monday, April 16, 2012

Blasphemous parody desecrates German pilgrimage

Wallfahrt in Trier: Protest mit Hitler, Papst und "Heiliger Unterhose" - Nachrichten Kultur - WELT ONLINE

As a parody of the Holy Robe pilgrimage to Trier, an artist has created the "Holy Underwear" of Karl Marx. “The Holy Underwear pilgrimage has begun", said the artist Helmut Schwickerath at the unveiling of the work on Saturday.

The work in imitation of a late medieval altar three-wing altarpiece has long orange-brown underpants in the centre which is seen as "a provocative counterpart" to the Holy Robe. The artwork is in a shop window near the Karl Marx House Museum in Trier. The philosopher Marx was born in Trier in 1818 and he died in London in 1883.

The Holy Robe of pilgrimage was opened on Friday in Trier. The focus is on the cloth relic of the "Holy Robe" - the robe that Jesus Christ is said to have worn during his crucifixion. It is the first time that it has been seen again after sixteen years.

The Catholic Church expects the pilgrimage to attract some 500,000 pilgrims. According to legend, Saint Helen gave the Robe to the Church of Trier as a gift. Pilgrimages have taken place in Trier for the last 500 years.

Sahra Wagenknecht as evangelist

"Everything can become a relic if you just invent a good legend," said Schwickerath. He has placed the Marxian trousers ("Long Johns") in the middle of a "triptych". To the left are displayed Marx's housekeeper Helen Demuth and to the rightm the left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht.

"She represents the evangelist of Karl Marx," said Schwickerath. With "his" relic and was granted relief. "Ten minutes pause and three prayers" Holy Karl, pray for us the "rich", he said, laughing.

Schwickerath artist has constructed a legend around the Marx underpants : housekeeper Demuth (also called Helen, part of the parody) took away the blessed article on her return from London to her home inSaarland, to store it. The underwear came into the hands of her brother, and remained long lost - until a researcher in the late 20th Century found the last effects of the family in the attic.

"Impressive, is not it?" He said with a grin. The underwear will be on display for four weeks. This is the first time since the last pilgrimage to the Holy Robe-1996 that the “relic” has been placed on an “altar”

"Pope meets Hitler" Event
Before the unveiling of the underpants, two artists dressed as the Pope and Adolf Hitler had protested against the connection between Church and State. During their tour of the city, they stopped in front of the cathedral, the Porta Nigra (Black Gate- a still standing gate of the city of Roman origin) and other sights to greet passers-by and pilgrims.

Briefly, the artists were detained at a police station in order to determine their identity. With the campaign "Pope meets Hitler," the artist Wolfram P Kastner and Linus Heilig demand a clear separation of church and state.

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