In the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department , BBC reports that the famous Ulm Minster Church in Ulm Germany which houses the world’s tallest church tower has an acid problem. The stone base is being eroded by the salts and acids in the urine, Suedwest Presse reports. The city doubled fines for those caught to 100 euros ($110; £90) earlier this year, but it has made little difference.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on it for half a year now and, once again, it’s coated with urine and vomit,” says Michael Hilbert, head of the department that maintains the building. Mr Hilbert tells Suedwest Presse that he’s not the “Pinkelpolizei”, or “pee police”, but wants official action over the anti-social problem. “This is about preserving law and order,” he says.
Ulm Minster’s steeple measures 161.53m (530ft), and the building is often referred to as a cathedral because of its sheer size. Its sandstone base recently underwent a costly restoration, Deutsche Welle notes. As in many cities, the area around the church is used for events throughout the year, and Mr Hilbert says organisers should provide free toilets so that men stop gravitating towards the building’s magnificent Gothic frontage when nature calls.
A city spokeswoman tells Suedwest Presse that while police patrols have increased, virtually nobody has been caught in the act recently, and she accepts that the higher fines have had no effect. The problem is likely to persist for as long as there are people, she says.