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The installation “Schritte im Wasser” (Steps in the Water) by Heidelberg artist Frank Schlottmann symbolizes the impact of climate change on our environment and society. An “ocean” of shoes died in blue stands for rising ocean levels and reminds us that we are living in a period of change.

Schools in Heidelberg supported the artwork with a collection campaign, because they wanted to take a stance against climate change. The installation will be showcased in several European cities, culminating in the display of the impressive amount of over 5,000 pairs of shoes at St Mark’s Square in Venice. I remember the beginnings of this project well: Starting out with just 100 pairs of blue shoes at Heidelberg’s Karlsplatz in 2019, it was an unmistakable symbol even then.

I appreciate the commitment that students participating in this initiative have shown and am proud that young people in Heidelberg, together with the artist Frank Schlottmann, stand up to protect our environment, finding creative and effective ways to spread this important message.


Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner

Mayor of Heidelberg

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