Bayern coach not amused by newspaper crucifixion gag | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 14.04.2009
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Bayern coach not amused by newspaper crucifixion gag

Bayern Munich coach Juergen Klinsmann is taking legal action against the Berlin daily newspaper taz, after a photo mock-up of him in a crucifixion scene appeared on the front page.

Shot of newspaper photo and headline. Photo shows man on cross.

The taz photo mock-up has Bayern Munich's coach up in arms

Next to the image of Klinsmann-on-the-cross, the headline reads: "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." The line refers to an ironic song from the 1979 Monty Python film "Life of Brian," where a young Jew is mistaken for Jesus Christ and crucified.

The sub-heading reads "From Germany's superstar to Bayern's bogeyman. Sonnyboy Juergen Klinsmann loses one match after another. Why the fallen savior faces crucifixion."

The coach has, in fact, come under pressure at Bayern following a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League last week, just days after losing 5-1 at Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga.

Violation of human dignity

The taz on Tuesday confirmed it had received a letter from Klinsmann's lawyer saying the coach felt his human dignity "deeply and massively" violated by the picture.

Klinsmann is seeking damages as well as an injunction against the newspaper to prevent further publication.

For its part, the paper said it was "relaxed" about the legal action.

Bayern spokesman Markus Hoerwick called the picture "perhaps the worst gaffe ever made by the German media."

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