Landmark artwork in a bit of a hole

Climbing experts were called to deal with a very peculiar problem in Berlin - salvaging a children's bicycle from a 30m-high sculpture on the Spree River.

The operation on Tuesday took around 1 1/2 hours. The professional climbers climbed up on the holes of the artwork with a rope and sawed off the bicycle. Why and how it came to be there is still a mystery.

The monumental work of art, Molecule Man, was built by the American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky in 1999. The location of the sculpture was chosen carefully - it was built exactly at the interface of the reunited East and West Berlin.

The aluminium human figures face each other, symbolising the coming together of the former districts of Kreuzberg, Treptow and Friedrichshain. The holes in the figures represent the molecules of which we are all made, hence the name Molecule Man.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2016, with the headline 'Landmark artwork in a bit of a hole'. Subscribe