One of the ants disappeared “near Altona on the Chaussee”, to which the writer Ringelnatz dedicated a poem (“Ants”). Only one leg remains. The artwork at the Elbchaussee has been destroyed several times in the past few years.
The Hamburg Alfred Töpfer Foundation opened the artwork as a monument in 2014 in memory of the famous Ringelnatz poems. Artist Peter Schroeder had the ants out of bronze and placed on a granite plate. Below it is an engraving of the Ringelnatz poem on a copper plaque.
“Two ants live in Hamburg,
They wanted to travel to Australia.
In Altona on the Chaussee
Then their legs hurt,
And there they abstain wisely
Then we move on to the final part of the journey.”
Shortly thereafter, the ants were mutilated for the first time. Strangers stole buttocks and heads. At the time, the police suspected that metal thieves were targeting bronze. Most recently, the two ants, about 35 cm long, were stolen in 2017.
Ansgar Wimmer of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation said in an interview with NDR 90.3 that they don’t want to give up – and if the ant is not returned – put a duplicate. In any case, a criminal complaint will be filed.