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It may be in segments but this is most definitely the head of Carl von Ossietzky, controversial winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935. Controversial because when Hitler heard of Ossietzky being awarded the prize he reacted with fury, prohibiting all Germans from ever receiving Nobel prizes.

It may be in segments but this is most definitely the head of Carl von Ossietzky, controversial winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935. Controversial because when Hitler heard of Ossietzky being awarded the prize he reacted with fury, prohibiting all Germans from ever receiving Nobel prizes.

Why did Ossietzky upset the Fuhrer? Ossietzy was a journalist and one of the most vehement critics of political developments in Germany in the inter-war years. In 1929, his paper had revealed that the German authorities were secretly engaged in rearmament contrary to the Treaty of Versailles. He was then arrested, found guilty of treason and imprisoned in 1931. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, he was rearrested and sent to a concentration camp. An international campaign was launched for his release, but he died in prison hospital in 1938.

His head has remarkably been captured in ceramics by British artist Stephen Dixon. Ossietzky is one of a series of three large portrait heads of three iconic Nobel Prize winners, Dixon's political heroes. The other link is that all three were unable to receive their awards as they were prisoners of conscience in their own countries when the prize was awarded. The other two are the Burmese champion of democracy Aung San Suu Kyi and Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo.

Dixon's dramatic head is part of Europe & Beyond, an exhibition of the works of 12 internationally acclaimed ceramicists. It is being presented by the Peppercanister Gallery (peppercanister.com) and is on display in the Coach House, Dublin Castle.

Indo Review