Theodoros Boulgarides, 1964-2005
Theodoros Boulgarides, 1964-2005

In memory of a murdered citizen of Munich

June 16 – October 2015

Since June 16, the foyer of the Münchner Stadtmuseum has been home to an installation created in memory of Theodoros Boulgarides. Munich citizens Habil Kılıç (murdered on August 29, 2001) and Theodoros Boulgarides (murdered on June 15, 2005) are two of the victims of the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), a far-right group responsible for a spate of attacks and murders committed the length and breadth of Germany between 2000 and 2006. The trial of one NSU member and her accomplices has been under way at the High Court in Munich since 2013. This puts Munich centre stage in public debate over the issues surrounding the NSU and a place where complex memories have emerged.

To mark the 10th anniversary of Theodoros Boulgarides’ death, his family have generously loaned the Münchner Stadtmuseum his Pontic lyra, a three-stringed musical instrument. Theodoros Boulgarides had displayed this instrument in his locksmith store in Munich’s Westend where he was murdered barely two weeks after it first opened. It is one of the few objects that his family has left to remember him by. The racist nature of the investigation, newspaper reports and allegations that followed his devastating murder have had a terrible impact on his family and friends, who continue to suffer the consequences to this day.

Pontic lyra (three-stringed musical instrument) by Theodoros Boulgarides (1964-2005),  © Münchner Stadtmuseum, 2015
Installation in memory of Theodoros Boulgarides in the foyer of the Münchner Stadtmuseum © Münchner Stadtmuseum, 2015
Installation in memory of Theodoros Boulgarides in the foyer of the Münchner Stadtmuseum © Münchner Stadtmuseum, 2015

 

The lyra in the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s installation acts as a symbolic device meant to encourage people to confront these complex memories embedded within Munich’s history. A public space for reflection and remembrance has been created in the Museum foyer with the consent of the victim’s family. The Münchner Stadtmuseum would like to invite its visitors to take the opportunity to engage with this facet of the history of the city.

From November 2015, Theodoros Boulgarides’ Pontic lyra will go on display in the “Typically Munich!” permanent exhibition in a new section devoted to the history of migration, jointly created by the Münchner Stadtmuseum and the Munich City Archives as part of the “Migration moves the city” project. This section explores Munich as a city of immigration and the complex memories that this entails. Migration has made the city what it is and is inextricably woven into its social fabric.