On the facade of the former Kiel Franciscan monastery on Theodor-Heuss-Ring hang 2 inconspicuous reliefs, around which legends and myths entwine. Supposedly, the heads are two criminals who were beheaded because of their deeds and whose heads petrified. However, fossilizations take 10,000 years and whole heads cannot fossilize anyway, as can be seen in the remains of dinosaurs. Rather, the heads are works of art from the 16th century, whose artist is unknown. Thus, the heads are among the oldest publicly exhibited works of art in Kiel. It is assumed that they once hung on the Kiel Castle. After two wings collapsed in the 17th century due to dilapidation, they found their current place on Theodor-Heuss-Ring via several detours.
The inscription on the left head: “ANNIBAL CARTHAGINENSIS” suggests that Hannibal from Carthage is depicted here. The right head depicts a Roman warrior, possibly the commander Scipio the Elder. It is likely that the artwork was intended to create a reference to the 2nd Punic War.
The heads make a slightly run-down impression. Nevertheless, this ancient work of art deserves a better exhibition place. Because the heads are well hidden. Only those who actively search for them will find them.
Text, photos: misoki