New Patrons

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The New Patrons
of Marl

In the city centre of Marl

Photo: Susan Feind

The New Patrons of Marl

Patrons*innen: Residents of Marl: Hannelore Apitzsch, Werner Eisbrenner, Monika Kaczerowski, Kurt Langer, Heidi Pfeifer, Irene Rasch-Erb, Rolf Schumann, Dr. Ulrich Spies, Karin Wagner and Paul Wagner,

Mediators*innen: Lea Schleiffenbaum, Denis Bury,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Federal Cultural Foundation,

Duration: 2019 –

Marl is a fascinating and unique city. Its citizens possess a treasure that is second to none. It is not about relics or Roman coins, but about outstanding buildings of post-world-war II architecture. The New Patrons of Marl want to raise awareness in the city for this cultural wealth. But they are concerned with more than the buildings themselves. The city society should rediscover its centre and actively come together in dialogue.

Signing the commission

Photo: Susan Feind

We want to connect the city's cultural heritage, Marl's unique buildings from the 1960s and 1970s, and make them accessible to a new generation.

For the New Patrons, this is the special nature of their community. When Marl reinvented itself with new prosperity after the war, the city's new self-image was expressed in major building commissions awarded to international architects. Not a cathedral or an opera house was created. Marl invested in school buildings, a town hall as an architectural symbol of an open society and other model buildings of democratic culture and participation. Great personalities of architectural history such as Hans Scharoun were permanent advisors to the newly developing city.

To this day, institutions such as the shopping centre with integrated educational facilities or the outstanding sculptures from Marl spread over the cityscape make a model of cultural participation accessible to all its citizens. Where elsewhere biennials spread splendor punctually, art and culture have a permanent presence in the cityscape of Marl.

Photo: Susan Feind

But while every year many guests of the city admire this social synthesis of the arts, many Marlers are no longer aware of the uniqueness of their cultural heritage. For a younger generation or newly arrived citizens, the planning achievements of the post-war years are far removed.

The clients of Marl therefore wish for artistic impulses through which the people living in Marl can recognize their special treasure, rediscover its offers for themselves and actively take possession of it. They want to bring the entire urban landscape into consciousness. The next generation is to have a say in deciding how the common heritage can be used and how the urban centre can be rediscovered and further developed – for the future benefit of the entire city.

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