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Thousands Support Man Ordered To Remove Garden Gnomes

June 14, 1988

HAMBURG, West Germany (AP) _ Thousands of West Germans, including the foreign minister, are rallying behind a Hamburg man who lost a court battle to keep two decorative gnomes in his front yard.

A Hamburg court last week ordered Adolf Besserdich to remove the colorful plastic miniatures from the garden in front of his apartment house after a neighbor complained that they were an eyesore.

Since the widely-publicized order, Besserdich has received thousands of letters of support, many of them urging him to appeal the decision, according to newspaper reports.

West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher also recently expressed his fondness for the bearded garden creatures.

″There’s no doubt that these are kitsch,″ said Georg Koelsch, director- designate of the Folkwang Museum in the central city of Essen.″But the line between what we call art and what’s kitsch is narrow.″

″If you are not tolerant, you can’t appreciate or understand art,″ Koelsch added.

Besserdich has moved his gnomes from the garden to his window ledge.

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