Driving Cross Cultural Dialogue: Evonik Donates Beethoven Statue to Singapore

19 Oct 2016
  • Latest sculpture carved by German sculptor Markus Lüpertz to be donated to Singapore 

  • Sculpture set to stay in Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) permanently 

  • Evonik is eager to drive the cross cultural dialogue between Germany and Singapore 


Evonik Statue Unveiling Ceremony at SUTD in Singapore (from left to right): 
- Peter Meinshausen, Regional President of Evonik South East Asia, Australia & New Zealand
- Professor Walter Smerling, Managing Director of the Foundation for Art and Culture (Bonn)
- Professor Markus Luepertz, The artist of the Beethoven statue, Dr. Werner Mueller, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Evonik Industries AG
- Professor Chan Heng Chee, Chairman of National Arts Council and Chairman of Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities
- Dr. Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG
- Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of Board of Trustees at SUTD  
- Professor Thomas Magnanti, President of SUTD

Essen/Singapore. Evonik, one of the world's leading specialty chemicals companies from Germany, has donated a giant bronze statue of Beethoven to Singapore, and received by SUTD today. Carved by German sculptor Markus Lüpertz, the statue marks Evonik’s first step in driving the cross cultural dialogue between Germany and Singapore.

As a creative industrial group with worldwide operations, Evonik has been consistently strengthening its dedication to corporate responsibility. Besides integrating corporate responsibility into its business activities, Evonik also contributes to the cultural wealth of the society by supporting a broad range of activities worldwide. “Evonik believes arts and music can enrich our daily life, broaden our horizon and show us new perspectives,” Dr. Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries, said during the statue unveiling ceremony at SUTD in Singapore today.

By bringing the art sculpture from Germany and donating it to Singapore as a gift, Evonik would like to further develop German art and cultural awareness in the country. “Singapore is one of our important markets in Asia and I am glad that apart from science and education, we are able to bring in the cultural aspects of Germany to this country,” Dr. Engel added.

As one of Germany’s most prominent contemporary artists, Markus Lüpertz’s talents reach beyond painting, to composing lyrics, building sculptures and designing graphics. Well known for his expressively rendered paintings and sculptures, Lüpertz’s art pieces often merge abstraction and representation. This is also reflected in the 2.7 meters high and weighs 1100 kilograms’ statue “Beethoven”: the armless torso looking longingly into the distance, with a bust of the great German composer – as an interpretation of visualizing Beethoven’s oeuvre and his genius triumphing over adversity.

As a gift to Singapore, the “Beethoven” statue is set to stay in SUTD permanently. “SUTD is delighted to accept this gift on Singapore’s behalf, not only because we share Evonik’s vision to promote sustainable innovations, but also because SUTD aims to develop technically-grounded leaders through a holistic and well-rounded education that encompasses design and the humanities, arts and social sciences,” said Professor Thomas Magnanti, President of SUTD. “We look forward to a closer collaboration with Evonik in the near future.”

"Envonik's presentation of the Beethoven statute to SUTD is an inspired gift. In SUTD we are always reaching out to understand innovation and creativity and how the process takes place. The lessons of the genius Beethoven for our students as they reflect on his life are many. Beethoven did not let adversity arrest his creativity. He turned his deafness into a source of strength. Silence created the space for ideas and sublime music to emerge," added Professor Chan Heng Chee, Chairman of the National Arts Council and the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at SUTD, who was the guest-ofhonour for the ceremony.

The day ended with an exclusive artist sharing session in the afternoon at LASALLE College of the Arts, a leading arts tertiary institution in Singapore. By sharing the inspiration behind his work, Lüpertz had a fruitful and engaging discussion with the students. “Evonik has been actively promoting cultural and social values in Germany, I am glad that they are also keen on fostering participation and cross-cultural dialogue,” said Markus Lüpertz. “Thanks to Evonik for sponsoring my sculpture and bringing it from Germany to Singapore, I hope my work will be able to strengthen the cultural connections between the two countries.”