Where do pugs live

Memorial column: "A life without a pug is possible, but pointless"

Wrapped in a white cloth, a bronze pug is enthroned on a pillar on Stuttgart's Eugensplatz. Lord Mayor Fritz Kuhn (Greens) pulls on a red bow and lets the fabric slide down. Applause. The people of Stuttgart are happy about the new pug, a tribute to the comedian Loriot, who should now look over the state capital forever.

The celebration on Tuesday, announced in advance as "Flashmops", with free ice cream and brass music, is the official welcome of the six-kilogram figure on its place on a pillar on which the Bülow family coat of arms is emblazoned. Like the icing on the cake, the pug stands on the stele, which was originally planned without a pug.

The story with the pug began with a humorous action by initially unknown people. In November, on Vicco von Bülow's 90th birthday, the three-meter-high column was erected in his memory on the square in front of the house where the family lived from 1938 onwards. In a night-and-fog operation, a golden stone pug was placed on the pillar. The pug liked it. And when the figure disappeared without a trace in December, the sadness was great. Many had assumed that the pug belonged to the memorial anyway and that they wanted the pug back. The bare column was too simple for the Swabians.

Ransom of 38.95 euros

The pug was planned as a “gag to do justice to this great personality”, says Martin Elbert, operator of the blog “Kessel.TV”. Due to the reactions after the disappearance, he and his colleagues confessed to the act and even offered to pay a symbolic ransom of 38.95 euros to the kidnappers. Mayor Fritz Kuhn (Greens) also took part in the search via Facebook and Twitter. The research was widespread, but was unsuccessful.

But the Swabian city should get its pug back. A collection of donations initiated by the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” brought in the almost 6,000 euros that made the new bronze pug possible. The Stuttgart sculptor Uli Gsell, who had already designed the column, agreed to the addition. He poured the statue and placed it in its proper place. This time, however, theft-proof: mortared, pegged and firmly anchored.