German artist to buy defunct power plant
BERLIN — German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer said Sunday he planned to snap up a mothballed atomic power plant in the belief that Germany’s nuclear history should be preserved for future generations.
In an interview with news weekly Der Spiegel, Kiefer said he was buying “at least the cooling tower” at the Muelheim-Kaerlich facility near the French border.
He enthused: “This nuclear power plant is so fantastic. Wonderful. It’s my Pantheon. I am fascinated by nuclear plants.”
Kiefer did not mention how much he would pay and was also mum on his plans for his new purchase. “Everything is still open. Germans dispose of their history too easily and too quickly,” he said.
The same was true of other aspects of German history, including the Berlin Wall, the artist said.
If he had his way, Communist East Germany would have been preserved as a museum, he quipped.
“I think we should do something with these nuclear plants … they have something mythical about them,” he added.
He said he had visited the site, mothballed in 1988 after just 13 months in operation, with the head of energy company RWE.
“Then I wrote to him. He understood immediately and I am now certain to get at least the cooling tower. That’s not radioactive,” said Kiefer.
“Now I am considering what to do with it. But whatever happens, I’m not going to paint cows and clouds on it,” the artist promised.
In the wake of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, the German government has decided to shut down all of its reactors by the end of 2022.