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In the German city of Kassel, refugee politics play out in public art

When Kassel authorities suggested moving Olu Oguibe's obelisk to a less high-profile location, the artist accused them of caving to far-right pressure. And his work isn't the only controversial one

By Morgan Meaker  

The obelisk by US artist Olu Oguibe at the Koenigsplatz in Kassel. Photo: PA

When the German city of Kassel erected a 54ft monument “for refugees and strangers,” the obelisk was more than an artwork; it was a political statement. Since last spring, the dark pillar has loomed over locals like the issue of immigration has towered over German politics—leaving Europe’s most prosperous country divided.

The work signals that however shaky her position looks now, parts of Germany, at least, still stand by Chancellor’s Merkel’s 2015 decision to open…

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