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Platz der Göttinger Sieben

Die Göttinger Sieben

The Göttingen Seven

Group of seven professors from Göttingen. In 1837 they protested against the abolition or alteration of the constitution of the Kingdom of Hanover by Ernest Augustus and refused to swear an oath to the new king of Hanover
(Wikipedia)
Floriano Bodini
1998

Hannover /  Die Göttinger Sieben

Description

The monument consist of a a portal with a height of six metres and one of its gates ajar, and nine bronze figures. Outside the gate are the three members of the Göttingen Seven, who banished from the Kingdom of Hanover. Insite the gate are the four members who are still in confrontation with the King, having "only" been dismissed from office and not actually banished from the Kingdom of Hanover.

Bodini did not model the statues on the existing likenesses of the historical personages, because after all these are artistic interpretations themselves. Instead he gave the statues the features of people he was acquainted with and who he felt were of similar character to the Göttingen Seven, thus directly relating the historical events to the present time. The figures are listed below in italics.

The Göttingen Seven

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Georg Gottfried Gervinus (Darmstadt 1805-Heidelberg 1871), a literary and political historian; (Wikipedia).

Outside in front of the gate, with an open book in his hand, showing the text:
Die Freiheit des | Gewissens ist | unverletzlich. | Grundrechte des | deutschen Volkes | 27·12·1848
Artikel II § 7 | Jeder Deutsche | hat das Recht | durch Wort | Schrift, Druck | und bildlichte | Darstellung | seine Meinung | frei zu äußern.

= Piero Leddi ((San Sebastiano Curone, 1930), Italian painter, friend of the sculptor (Wikipedia).

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben
Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann (Wismar 1785-Bonn 1860), a historian, politician and public law specialist, who having co-authored the 1833 constitution and drafting the text of this protest was now the leading figure; (Wikipedia).

outside the gate on the steps.

= Oresto Bellinzona, a gallery owner

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Jacob Grimm (Hanau 1785 - Berlin 1863), German philologist, (Wikipedia).

standing in the gate.

= self-portrait of Floriano Bodini

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Wilhelm Grimm (Hanau 1786 - Berlin 1859), German philologist, (Wikipedia).

on the steps inside the gate

= Arturo Bodini, brother of the sculptor

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Wilhelm Weber (Wittenberg 1804-Göttingen 1891), German physicist and, together with Carl Friedrich Gauss, inventor of the first electromagnetic telegraph (Wikipedia).

with a book in his hand together with Ewald on a socle. In front of him lies an open book, with the text: Nicolò Macchiavelli | il Principe | 1532

= Stefan Helfrich, architect who co-operated in the project

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben
Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Heinrich Ewald (Göttingen 1803-Göttingen 1875), German orientalist, theologian, and Biblical exegete (Wikipedia).

with a roll in his hand together with Weber on a socle.

= Dr. Michael Engelhard, German Consul General in Italy

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht (Elbing 1800-Leipzig 1876), German constitutional lawyer, jurist, and docent (Wikipedia).

standing close to the king presenting him a document.

= Claudio Rizzi, the Director of the Permanente di Milano

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben

The King

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben Ernst August I., König von Hannover / Ernest Augustus I of Hanover (London 1771 - Hannover 1851), became in 1837 King of Hanover when his niece, Victoria, became Queen of the United Kingdom, ending the personal union between Britain and Hanover that had existed since 1714 (Wikipedia).
Equestrian statue.

= Alberto Sughi (Cesena 1928 - Bologne 2012), Italian painter (Wikipedia)

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben

The Student

Hannover - Die Göttinger Sieben A student, on the side of the gate.

= Renato Galbusera (Milano 1950), Italian artist

Inscription(s)

At the side of the gate (below the student):

Dieses Denkmal für Zivilcourage
erinnert an die Göttinger Sieben
die 1837 dem Verfassungsbruch
entgegentraten. Alle sieben
verloren deswegen ihre Äter,
drei wurden des Landes verwiesen.

Das Denkmal - geschaffen 995-1998
von Floriano Bodini - wurde von der
Knigge-Gesellschaft initiiert. Ein
Kuratorium unter Leitung des
Landtagspräsidenten Horst Milde
setzte die Idee um. Viele Bürgerinnen
und Bürger realisierten sie mit
großen und kleinen Spenden.

Signature

(gate) bodini 1996·98 - (Gervinus, W. Grimm) b.96 - (the king) Bodini 97 - (Albrecht) b.97 - (Weber-Ewald) b.98
(Gervinus, W. Grimm, Weber-Ewald, Albrecht, king) Fonderia Artistica Battaglia Milano

Information Sign

Landesdenkmal
DIE GÖTTINGER SIEBEN

Informationsmaterial ist im Niedersächsischen Landtag
(Eingangsbereich / Portikus) erhältlich

Annotation

King Ernst August of Hanover succeeded to the throne in 1837, and one of the first acts he performed under royal "Authority” was to revoke on 1st November of that same year Hanover's liberal constitutional law, which had been adopted by Wilhelm IV, his predecessor, in 1833. He then dissolved parliament and released all civil servants from their oath of allegiance to the constitution. Seven professors of Göttingen University - Albrecht, Dahlmann, Ewald, Gervinus, the brothers Grimm and Weber - regarded the abrogation of the constitution as an infringement of the law, for it was the king himself who had guaranteed "absolute adherence to the constitution" on his accession to the throne. They felt they were still bound by their sworn oath of allegiance and on 18th November 1837 resolved to lodge a "most humble complaint by divers members of the State University appertaining to the Royal Charter of 1st November".

However, King Ernst August saw an act of manifest opposition in this courageous deed, which Dahlmann called a "protestation of conscience", and dismissed the seven professors from office. Besides, Dahlmann, Jacob Grimm and Gervinus were banished from the kingdom, since they had also admitted to distributing the protestation in public.

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Equestrian statue
  • Ernst August I, König von Hannover
  • Ewald, Heinrich
  • Folklorist
  • Gervinus, Georg Gottfried
  • Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm
  • Historian
  • Lawyer
  • Linguist
  • Monarch
  • Orientalist
  • Physicist
  • Statesman
  • Statue (two men)
  • Statue
  • Student
  • Sughi, Alberto
  • Theologian
  • Weber, Wilhelm
  • Location (N 52°22'11" - E 9°44'2")

    Item Code: dens139; Photograph: 3 April 2014
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt