A stained glass window by the famous German artist Gerhard Richter has been unveiled at Cologne Cathedral. While the city's mayor has hailed the work as an "enrichment," the archbishop reportedly never wanted it.
The new window is made up of 11,200 squares and has been installed on the sunny, south-facing side of the Gothic cathedral.
More than 1,000 visitors came to witness the event. Eagerly craning their necks upwards to view the 110-square-meter (1,184 square-foot) artwork, the majority seemed entranced by the kaleidoscope of colors.
"The cathedral has been enriched and so has the city," Cologne Mayor Fritz Schramma said after the unveiling.
"The cardinal did not want this window," said the source.
The archbishop, who is not opposed to modern art per se, reportedly wanted to have a figurative work, for example with representations of saints or 20th century martyrs, rather than an abstract one.
Cathedral Provost Norbert Feldhoff said the reason for Meisner's absence at the unveiling ceremony was "purely technical" and was linked to a clash with a previously planned trip to Poland.
The original window was destroyed in World War II and replaced in the 1950s by a nearly transparent piece of glass.
Cologne Cathedral, which is one of Germany's most famous landmarks, dates back to the 13th century and was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1996.