Katharina Fritsch, “Lourdes Madonna,” 1987 / various   In 1987, this piece - a commission by the city of Munster - was repeatedly damaged while on public display, resulting in multiple versions having to be made. The first version, set in plastic, was stolen and ended up at a police station; the second, molded in cement, had its nose broken off and was regularly sprayed with graffiti. There were no arrests made; the piece was eventually taken down.  “People got very emotional,” Fritsch remembered. “In the daytime, people brought candles and flowers and stood there singing and taking photographs. Then in the night, drunken people hit her or sprayed her. I never expected anything like it.”

Katharina Fritsch, “Lourdes Madonna,” 1987 / various

In 1987, this piece - a commission by the city of Munster - was repeatedly damaged while on public display, resulting in multiple versions having to be made. The first version, set in plastic, was stolen and ended up at a police station; the second, molded in cement, had its nose broken off and was regularly sprayed with graffiti. There were no arrests made; the piece was eventually taken down.

“People got very emotional,” Fritsch remembered. “In the daytime, people brought candles and flowers and stood there singing and taking photographs. Then in the night, drunken people hit her or sprayed her. I never expected anything like it.”

Christopher Schreck