Emil Manser

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Emil Manser in Lucerne

Emil Manser (born November 19, 1951 in Appenzell , AR ; † August 3, 2004 in Lucerne ) was a Swiss street artist and self-appointed mayor of Lucerne. Because of his humorous, socially critical slogans that he wore on cardboard signs around his neck and because of his constant presence in public spaces, especially in front of the Lucerne Cantonal Bank building , he was considered the city ​​original in Lucerne during the 1990s .

Manser grew up in Appenzell in a farming family with six children. He completed an apprenticeship as a printer at the Appenzeller Tagblatt and moved to Lucerne in 1971.

From the end of the 1980s Manser was to be found on the street with cardboard signs hanging around his neck with slogans such as "It is a great honor to be of the same kind". Also deliberately misspelled ones like “Blakat only for high society” or “Glück für Sie: betle all January for half a meal” and “Badzeli or I <<singe>>”.

On the night of August 3, 2004, Manser dropped into the Reuss and died. He left a farewell poster that read «Cancer! Chose Shortcut to Heaven ».

From December 9, 2016 to April 17, 2017, the Lucerne Historical Museum dedicated an exhibition to Emil Manser with around 150 posters and other objects, which were shown to the public in their entirety for the first time.


  • Georg Anderhub (ed.): It's a great honor for me to be of the same kind. Homage to the Lucerne street philosopher Emil Manser; 1951-2004 . db-Verlag, Horw / Luzern 2006, ISBN 978-3-905388-19-0 .

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