German Cops Probe Artist's 'Nazi' Gnome

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2009 5:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – The German artist who intended to mock his nation's Nazi past with a golden garden gnome saluting "Sieg Heil" is in man-size trouble, reports the BBC. Nuremburg police are investigating whether the bearded gnome—on display in a local gallery—violates Germany's strict ban on Nazi propaganda and symbols. The creature was originally part of hundreds of Nazi-saluting gnomes exhibited by the artist at a Belgium museum.

"I'm astonished that a single garden gnome has unleashed such a public discussion," says artist Ottmar Hörl, 59, who is president of Nuremberg's Academy of Fine Arts. "I get the feeling that this gnome has reopened an old wound."