Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Schweine (Pig) Museum Tour

Today has been a very busy day with a great many visits to potential tour locations and research on content to include within the Tour of All Tours. After many hours running around doing this it was time to be a proper tourist again. That's how I ended up at the Schweine Museum.

I was looking for something a little less corporate than the Mercedes-Benz Museum and I certainly found it here. Situated in a very ordinary looking suburb it fills a large building with the museum on the top two floors and a restaurant and gift shop on the ground floor. The collection is really quite something. They call themselves "the world's largest Pig Museum" and while I suppose this is something of a niche market, they really have assembled more pigs up there than most of us will ever see in a lifetime. Toy pigs, porcelain pigs, plastic pigs, pictures of pigs, mountains of fluffy pigs, porno pigs, glass pigs, leather, wood and golden pigs, pigs in films and pigs on the plate, they really do have a comprehensive collection. The following set of pictures are just a very small sample, you really have to go there yourself to take in the full scope of this pig collection.

OK, so the quality of the objects is not always top, they go in for quantity over quality, but there are some genuinely odd things like the kinky pig scholar above. I spoke to the women at the gift shop and she explained that the museum moved to Stuttgart 4 years ago and as a result they get more visitors now. They located themselves not so far from the Mercedes Benz Museum and get some spillover from there as well as people they bring in through the restaurant and events like a Harley Motorbike gathering with BBQ and music that'll happen the same day I'm giving the Tour of All Tours. There goes my audience.

Predictably enough, most of their visitors are German but they do get a small mix of people from all over the world. When I was there the only other visitors I saw were two Japanese women who were looking at the collection in considerable detail and the guide confirmed that they are indeed often extremely thorough in their visit. She said, "most European visitors may spend an hour but some Chinese and Japanese visitors can spend 6 or even 8 hours in the collection taking pictures of every pig." For those born in the year of the pig I can sort of understand having an emotional attachment to the creatures but I have to say after an hour I started to feel a bit crazy surrounded by all those pigs. While it looks like a kitsch and light collection the  effect of such obsessive pig hoarding is somewhat disturbing as well as amusing. Overall I'd say it's well worth a visit and a pleasingly absurd antidote to Mercedes-Benz.  

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