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The Hare Sculpture

By Jürgen Goertz

Since 1984, a sculpture has enlivened the Tiergärtnertor Square: “The Hare”, an artwork from Jürgen Goertz which is inspired by Dürer’s world-famous field hare. But this figure has little to do with the original. Whereas Dürer created a rabbit to look like that in nature, the bronze sculpture from Goertz looks more like a monster. Created with the eye of a modern artist, Jürgen Goertz seems to perfectly understand Franconian humor.

When you see the hare, you should head over to rub its golden tail. That’s supposed to bring luck – as least that’s what an eastern European guidebook claims. To see if that’s really true, you’ll have to try for yourself!

At first, the rabbit seems to be a typical field hare, but if you take a second look, you’ll see some macabre things. The hare is portrayed bursting out of a crate together with its young and a human foot is clearly hidden underneath his front paw. If you look even more closely, you’ll realize that there are nails lying in front of the mouth, as if the hare is eating them. With this peculiar depiction of the hare, the artist seems to say that very few know what Dürer wished to express with his art. Goertz seems to criticize the fact that the work of the most famous artist in Nuremberg has become commercialized. Yet we don’t know exactly what the artist who created this modern hare sculpture wanted to say; he has never described it himself. There are many interpretations. When the sculpture was installed in 1984 there was public outrage, because no one liked it.