FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A giant blue euro sculpture in the heart of Frankfurt's financial district has a new benefactor: The firm behind a sharia-compliant cryptocurrency.
The future of the sculpture, in the shadow of the European Central Bank's former headquarters and long a symbol of Frankfurt's role in managing the single European currency, was at risk after the banks that paid for its upkeep backed out.
On Tuesday, the sculpture's owner, the Frankfurt Culture Committee, revealed that it had secured a new sponsor, saving it from having to auction the 14-metre object.
The sponsor is the technology developer Caiz, a Frankfurt-based company whose Caizcoin conforms to the principles of Islamic finance and laws.
"The euro symbol is photographed several hundred times a day, so our involvement also makes sense from a commercial perspective as a marketing effort," Joerg Hansen, chief executive officer of Caiz development, told Reuters.
The sculpture was constructed to much fanfare in 2001, shortly ahead of the launch of euro notes and coins.
"The most photographed object in the city remains in Frankfurt am Main," said Manfred Pohl, chair of the committee that owns it.
The cryptocurrency's logo is prominently displayed on the sculpture's base.
"We aren't a threat to the euro. The euro will always exist," Hansen said.
(Reporting by Marta Orosz; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Alison Williams)