The Golden Boule
24 April 2018 – ongoing
As indicated in a letter, which was found in the archives of Residenz when looking through old documents, a golden boule ball is buried in the Hofgarten. The letter, dated to the year 1765, was sent from Paris and addressed to the Electoral Privy Councilor Benedict von Hofstätten. There his friend Étienne-Louis Ledoux, probably a pseudonym, describes the pleasures of his visit to Munich. In particular he refers to the enjoyment of playing boules together in the Hofgarten. ("... mais, mon cher ami, la plus grande de toutes les joies étaient nos, de boules en fin de journée ...").
At the end of the letter, which demonstrates their profound friendship, the French guest reveals that in the night, before his departure, he had left a gift in the Hofgarten and that it would not be buried deep. ("Je vous ai laissé quelque chose, mon cher, là ou nous avons joué et ceci vous fera plaisir.Vous vous souvenez de mon historie de la boule en or…”)
Unfortunately, the place where Étienne-Louis Ledoux enters the exact location of the hiding place became unreadable by the aging process of the paper. But one can assume that the golden boule ball is still hidden somewhere in the Hofgarten, since the letter never reached Benedict von Hofstätten. When the letter was found, it was mysteriously still sealed.
The Munich-based artist Martin Fengel has encouraged Kunstverein München to facilitate the recovery of the golden boule ball by offering a map and a series of tools for detecting the item.
Equipment for locating and excavating the ball can be rented in Kunstverein München’s Foyer:
1H 2 EUR / 3H 4 EUR
1H 5 Eur / 3H 10 EUR
1H 8 Eur