Karl Marx, the German-born philosopher credited as the father of communism after publishing The Communist Manifesto in 1848, isn’t the most celebrated icon around the world, but in his hometown of Trier, Germany, all of that angst of controversy is being thrown to the curb to celebrate his 200th birthday.
The small German town just outside the borders of Luxemburg unveiled its new pedestrian traffic lights on Monday that use Marx’s likeness to guide walkers across the streets. Marx shines bright with red and arms stretched out to give pedestrians the unmistakable signal to stop at the curb. When it is all clear to cross, Marx takes a giant step, in green, with a book tucked neatly under his arm.
“Trier is showing its colors for Marx”
“This is a beautiful symbol and Trier is showing its colors for Marx,” said Mayor Wolfram Leibe, who commissioned the installation of the light. The second light in the set is slated to be installed before the Easter holiday and will be located at the intersection outside Marx’s childhood home.
Transforming the city’s crosswalks won’t be the only way Trier celebrates its famous connection to the father of communism. The city will be accepting a bronze statue of Marx from the Chinese government, which despite some local controversy will be erected near the location of the first Marx crossing signal.