Thursday, October 6, 2022

Celebrating Bud Spencer: fans press for Berlin museum to stay put (Part 1 of 2)


By June Chua



[Life size figure of Bud Spencer in the Bud Spencer Museum, Berlin]

Christina Lutze isn’t just a fan of actor Bud Spencer, who died in 2016. She practically grew up with him.

“My dad bore a resemblance and my family pretended he was Bud when I was a toddler,” she says. “My first day at school, I introduced myself this way: ‘My name is Christina, my mom is a housewife, and my dad is Bud Spencer.’”

Lutze believed her dad was the Italian actor (born Carlo Pedersoli in Naples in 1929), until her teens - thinking he went to set every day to shoot a movie.

Naturally, she was in Berlin on 27 June 2021, the opening day of the Bud Spencer Museum on the city’s famous Unter den Linden street. Positioned halfway between Brandenburg Gate and the tourist site of Museum Island, it’s a prime location.

“I was overwhelmed by the loving yet professional presentation, I feel Bud himself would love this exhibition,” notes Lutze, who lives in Gottingen, about 350 km southwest of Berlin. “It should stay permanently! I think all the love and work of the contributors and the [Pedersoli family] should not be lost. I’m planning another visit this year.”

[The Bud Spencer Museum in Berlin]

Transcending cultural and generational limits

The temporary museum is divided into three rooms: a large cinema space with a 20-minute film presentation about Bud and two other mid-sized rooms that attest to his life and career.

Spencer was Italy’s 1949 100-metre freestyle swim champion. He gained four national titles in the 1950s and participated in the Helsinki and Melbourne Olympics. Between his film and TV gigs, he also learned to fly, established a small airline, made records, and penned four books about his life and his personal philosophy.

Every Saturday, there’s a Bud Spencer film screening, and the shop has various t-shirts and souvenirs dedicated to the actor. There are even two Bud Spencer whiskeys for sale, made by a distiller in Bayern. All proceeds are shared with the family.

[Bud Spencer's son Giuseppe Pedersoli standing next a statue of his father]

Spencer’s son and two daughters attended the opening: “They were overwhelmed with emotion and cried because it brought up memories of their father,” says museum director Matteo Luschi.

The museum attracted 35,000 visitors in the first six months, many from Germany, Italy, and Hungary and all over Europe as well as some from as far away as Pakistan.

“Bud Spencer transcends all cultural and generational limits, he makes adults and children laugh. His films were about defending the weakest in society and the joys of friendship,” declares Luschi. A transplanted Italian who has lived in Germany for 20 years, Luschi often gets asked by his countrymen why the museum is in Berlin. “The German fan base is very big and well-organized.”

[Bud Spencer's son Giuseppe Pedersoli standing next a statue of his father]

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