The Monaco Franze and its creator are finally reunited

The band Swing Lyons has positioned themselves in front of the Café Münchner Freiheit , the musicians play “Your beautiful with me”. Next to him, cast in bronze, is Monaco Franze, alias Helmut Fischer, for whom all women are known to be beautiful. But actually, that day is about a different Helmut. Saturday morning, shortly before eleven o’clock, the statue here in Schwabing will officially have a seat next to it – the co-creator of “Monaco Franze”, the screenwriter and director Helmut Dietl, who died in 2015. His statue still looks a bit ghostly under the white cloth. Before it airs, the audience gets to listen to speeches and expressions of gratitude, as befits a proper reveal.

Something “very nice” was created there, says Charly Eisenrieder, head of the Café Münchner Freiheit. He thanks the people of Schwabing, after all, the idea came from the citizenry in 2016. He thanks the sponsors and the city, which finally “allowed” the monument. And he thanks his parents for “creating a space” where director Dietl and other artists met. Cultural officer Anton Biebl thanks the artist of the statue, Nikolai Tregor. “Do you know me?” calls the one from the audience – probably alluding to the difficult and lengthy story of how it came about. The city initially rejected the project, “I admit that the process took a little longer,” says Biebl. But the director Dietl, he believes, would have had “a lot of fun” with it.

Schwabing City Councilor Lars Mentrup (SPD) compares the story of its origins with “Pirates of the Caribbean”. There were shoals, unsafe waters, the ship ran aground and the city disembarked. Helmut Fischer had to wait “almost endlessly” for his neighbor, says longtime local politician Werner Lederer-Piloty (SPD). “A right’s Gschiss” was the hiccup around the statue at times. That’s how Manni Kopfeck, the friend of Monaco Franze, would have put it.

“You can see clearly that I already radiate an outstanding expressiveness from a purely visual point of view”

Now, six years after the idea, there he is, Helmut Dietl . Two questions remain. Number one: how did the relatively unknown actor Helmut Fischer get his role as Monaco Franze? A letter from Helmut to Helmut dated January 27, 1976, from which Petra Piloty reads, a kind of application letter, can provide information about this. “I would like to dispel any doubts about my suitability for this by sending you a picture of my face,” Fischer writes to Dietl, among others. “You can see clearly that I radiate an outstanding expressiveness that is only surpassed by my personal appearance.”

Question number two is for the artist. Mr. Tregor, why aren’t the two gentlemen at the Münchner Freiheit looking at each other? Well, they communicated in a different way, says Nikolai Tregor. Dietl lifts the table a little with his foot. Fischer, on the other hand, has to hold his sundae so that it doesn’t slip off the table.

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