Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Berlin's Buddy Bear finds new home in Charlotte

Posted By on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 1:37 PM

There's a reason why I often refer to Berlin as Bearlin. It's because every time I've visited Germany's vibrant capital, a standout has been the many United Buddy Bears - fiberglass sculptures, all of the same mold (a bear figure with its arms up in the air) but painted differently - scattered around town. They reflect their surroundings, as well as peace and prosperity. They oftentimes represent the importance of creativity and diversity in the world, too.

A Buddy Bear I spotted outside of Berlins Olympic Stadium.
  • A Buddy Bear I spotted outside of Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

So, it's exciting to announce that that Charlotte is getting its very own United Buddy Bear. Today (June 10, 4 p.m.) the sculpture, painted by artist Sharon Dowell while on a trip to Berlin, will be unveiled outside of its new home at the Main Library (Uptown at the corner of 6th Street and North Tryon Street).

The bear's design represents the connections between Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and Germany's own Mecklenburg, a region in the northern portion of the country and a state (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). Sponsors of the project include Alemannia Society, a nonprofit organization that celebrates German language and culture, in addition to German Saturday School, German American Chamber of Commerce, the Language & Culture Foundation and Regina and Kurt Waldthausen.

Be sure to show some welcoming Southern charm by giving the sculpture a big ol' bear-hug the next time you're Uptown.

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