Leipzig’s Monument to Freedom and Unity – Competition

 Leipzig's Monument to Freedom and Unity - CompetitionDeadline: 16 December 2011

Open to: international

On 9th October 2011, the 22nd anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, the City of Leipzig will hold an open application process for a .

The Leipzig Monument to Freedom and Unity is to be a national monument which transcends over the City through its location, stature and significance. It is to address a wide democratic public and above all, future generations through its political and artistic demands.

In May 2011, designated as the location for the monument, directly on the Leipziger Ring, where the demonstration took place in 1989. The Leipzig Monument to Freedom and Unity is to be inaugurated on 9th October 2014 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution in what will be the newly named ´`.

Artists, architects and landscape architects from all over the world are invited to submit an application by 16th December 2011 at the latest. 40 applicants/teams will then be chosen to take part in the restricted competition according to RPW 2008 (guide lines for planning competitions) . The selection of participants will be carried out by the client of Leipzig in consultation with a selection committee consisting of external experts.

Burkhard Jung, Lord Mayor of Leipzig, hopes that the competition will attract international attention and asks artists, architects as well as representatives of other professional categories mentioned to participate. The Government and the Free State of Saxony have been preparing the competition procedure in cooperation with the City of Leipzig for three years. The Lord Mayor thanks both for their support so far and also for their readiness to remain active in further proceedings. The Government and Free State will be represented in both the selection committee and the jury of the competition. (For a list of jury members, see below).

The financial framework for the whole project is 6.5 million euro, of which 5 million euro will be from the Government and 1.5 million euro from the Free State of Saxony. A gross amount of 175.000 euro will be available for the competition.

Prior to the competition brief, the City of Leipzig organised a work-shop phase at which mainly citizens but also experts aired their opinions. Of special importance are the results of the youth work shop where young people from Leipzig and twin towns Hannover, Krakow and Houston, addressed the specifications of the competition. According to their assessment, it is important to carry the experiences of the Peaceful Revolution into the future and, above all, to bring home the events of the revolution to young people.

Members of the Jury

Expert Judges:
Prof. Henri Bava, Landscape Architect
Prof. Dr. Dieter Daniels, Art Scientist
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Endlich, Publicist ·
Jochen Gerz, Artist
Dr. Ulrike Lorenz, Curator
Martin zur Nedden, Town Planner
Prof. Gernot Schulz, Architect
Prof. Dr. Philipp Ursprung, Art Scientist

Assistant Expert Judges:
Jochem Lunebach, Town Planner
Roland Nachtigäller, Curator
Prof. Petr Pelcak, Architect
Tilo Schulz, Artist

Additional elegible Judges:
Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung, City of Leipzig
Councillor Roland Quester, City of Leipzig
Johannes Selle, Member of Bundestag
Ministerialdirigent Dr. Michael Roik, Office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media
Robert Clemen, Member of Landtag
Dr. Günter Kröber, Free Stateof Saxony
Konrad Weiß, Person of Contemporary History

Additional Assistant Judges:
Mayor of Culture Michael Faber, City of Leipzig
Councillor Axel Dyck, City of Leipzig
Patrick Kurth, Member of Bundestag
Dr. Sigrid Bias-Engels, Office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media
Dr. Dietmar Pellmann, Member of Landtag
Gunther Hatzsch, Free State of Saxony
Tobias Hollitzer, Speaker of the Initiative “Day of the Peaceful revolution – Leipzig 9. October “

Backround of the project

The memory of 1989’s Peaceful Revolution is at a very sensitive and pivotal transitional point: today’s 20-25 year olds are the first generation for whom 1989 is not a part of their own personal biography. So far, 1989 and its importance have been passed along to those who were not there by means of memories and the stories of those who were. This “communicative memory”, however, can last only three generations at the most and is very dependent on locations, rituals, historical research, debate among society’s citizens and, finally, monuments. For this reason, the christening of a monument 25 years after the Peaceful Revolution in Leipzig, the revolution’s point of origin, is the right sign in the right place at the right time.

With its decision of December 4, 2008, the German Bundestag cleared the way for Leipzig’s Monument to Peace and Unity. Accordingly, Leipzig’s city council decreed on June 7, 2009, that the mayor was to begin the process of having one created. The federal government provided up to 5 million Euros for the monument with the Saxonian State Parliament agreeing on June 17, 2010 to contribute another 1.5 million Euros.

This Monument to Peace and Unity is recognition of Leipzig’s major role in the revolution. The peaceful outcome of October 9, 1989’s massive public protests, in which over 70,000 people participated, played a key role in the revolution’s further development. Leipzig’s monument stands for the variety and scope of the courageous rebellion throughout the entire GDR. Individual actions and smaller initiatives grew into a massive movement in the autumn of 1989. As a national monument, its location, design and significance are meant to extend beyond Leipzig. Additionally, it makes reference to the freedom movements that were taking place in Central and Eastern Europe and which were important prerequisites for the events of East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution.

Public Participation

Intense and sometimes controversial discussions took place regarding the location and meaning of the monument. The experiences gained in the competitive process held in Berlin also showed that a precise and clear task definition for both content and artistic goals was of absolute importance. For this reason a “workshop phase” with the participation of the city’s citizenry was established in Leipzig as a precursor to the actual competition itself. The goal was to establish the central and key messages for the competition and to provide the city council with a basis for deciding the monuments location.

Workshop Phase

The workshop phase began in January, 2011 as a survey concerning the monument and asking for ideas and comments was sent to 3,000 selected, representative citizens of Leipzig. More than half of the respondents wrote that the Monument to Freedom and Unity would be of great importance for the city of Leipzig.

In February, 2011, young people from Leipzig and its partner cities Hannover, Krakow and Houston participated in an international youth workshop where they laid out the central messages for the Leipzig monument. These included non-violence, courage and the determinedness with which the demonstrators protested for their basic and civil liberties in the fall of 1989 and which should be both inspiration and motivation for coming generations when dealing with processes of political change. The results of the workshop were then worked into a two day expert workshop including citizens of Leipzig, civil rights activists form Plauen, Erfurt and Leipzig as well as historians, art historians and civil engineering experts. At the beginning of March, the core messages defined during the workshop phase regarding the monument, the artistic design and its location were presented to the public and discussed in a citizen’s forum.

Location – Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz

As a result of the meetings, citizen participation and the youth workshop, Leipzig’s city council declared a clear resolution on the 18th of May, 2011. The Leipzig Monument to Freedom and Unity, meant to remind all of, among other things, the civil courage and peaceful protests of the brave East German citizens, shall be erected at the Wilhelm Leuschner Platz. Because of its direct proximity to the “Promenadenring” and the New City Hall, this location has a direct spatial correspondence to the Monday demonstrations and original venues. In addition, it offers the special opportunity to create a new public space which provides the perfect prerequisites for the national dimension of the monument. The goal is to christen the monument on the 9th of October, 2014, the 25th anniversary of the peaceful revolution.


Lars Loebner
Tel. ++49 341 123-4834

Complete rules and application form may be downloaded from the web site:


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