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Germany: Minster shows a Nativity scene without Melchior because of racism

Ulm - The parish council of Ulm Minster decided not to set up the nativity scene with the three kings before Christmas this year. The aim was to remove the black-skinned King Melchior from a possible debate on racism, said the Protestant dean Ernst-Wilhelm Gohl from Ulm on Monday to the Protestant press service. The local council decided in its most recent meeting to show the crib in a different variant.

Gohl explained that the Ulm Melchior, designed around 100 years ago, was special in several ways. He is probably the only holy king with a pretzel in hand. At the same time, however, he is addressing racist stereotypes with his bulging lips, his body and his gold rings on his bare ankles.

The historical nativity scene was donated around 30 years ago, on condition that it be exhibited annually on the first Advent in the cathedral. The dean added that it was not a question of suppressing the black king. However, the type of representation is in question. After Christmas, the future of Melchior should be discussed in public.
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