BERLIN (AP) — A golden statue of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was installed at an art festival whose motto is "Bad news" has been taken down after authorities in the German city of Wiesbaden said it was becoming a security issue.
The dpa news agency reported that the 4-meter (13-foot) sculpture depicting Erdogan with a raised right arm, evoking the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled by American forces in Iraq, was removed just after midnight in the central city.
Since its erection Monday, authorities said it had become a magnet for pro- and anti-Erdogan speeches and provoked conflict.
Wiesbaden State Theater director Uwe Eric Laufenberg defended that debate as being the installation's purpose, saying "we displayed the statue in order to discuss Erdogan."
He says "in a democracy, one must tolerate all opinions."