Orlando di Lasso Statue – Munich, Germany - Atlas Obscura

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Orlando di Lasso Statue

This tribute to the 16th-century composer is now an unusual shrine to Michael Jackson.  

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Today, few people will remember Orlando di Lasso. But in the 16th century, the Franco-Flemish composer was popular enough for a statue to be erected in his honor at the Eastern end of Promenadeplatz.

This statue to the dead composer gained an odd amount of attention in 2009, thanks to Michael Jackson. Within days of Jackson’s death, fans of the King of Pop began laying wreaths and personal tributes on Lasso’s statue. Over time, the shrine has grown, with posters, fan art, books, candles, and fresh flowers covering the lower sides of the statue’s base. The effect is a constantly updated memorial that changes from week to week.

For over a decade now this place has served as a makeshift memorial, with pictures, flowers, notes, and other mementos being left constantly. Some fans even seem to treat it as a pilgrimage site, visiting it to pay their respects and leave an offering. The statue stands in front of the five-star hotel Bayerischer Hof, a hotel that MJ once visited during a tour. 

Locals have mixed feelings about it—some support the memorial while others see it as an eyesore. There have even been cases of people planting bird feed around it to try and destroy the shrine with the help of pigeons. None of these plans seem to work though, as the site always gets cleaned up and redecorated. 

There’s no actual connection between Jackson and di Lasso. Mourning fans chose the statue as the location of their shrine simply because it’s across from the Bayerischer Hof Hotel, Jackson’s favorite place to stay when visiting Munich.

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As it's situated in a public square, the shrine is accessible at all times.

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