Golden Pudel at centre of legal battle

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  • A dispute between the club's owners has reached the Hamburg civil court.
  • Golden Pudel at centre of legal battle image
  • The owners of Golden Pudel are embroiled in a legal dispute over the club's finances. The Hamburger Morgenpost has reported that around 100 fans, bookers and DJs like Smallpeople gathered in Hamburg's civil court on Wednesday, September 10th, to show support for Golden Pudel. The venue's original owner, Rocko Schamoni, is suing his business partner, Wolf Richter. Yesterday, Zeit Online reported that a disagreement between the owners of the building that houses Golden Pudel has ended up in court. Richter and Schamoni purchased the punk-turned-techno club from the city in 2008, vowing to keep the venue alive and create a space for cultural discourse in the community. For this purpose they started a non-profit organization funded by both parties to pay off the property and keep the arts alive in the space and the neighboring park, Park Fiction. The club downstairs continued to operate as it long had, while the upper floors became a for-profit café. Schamoni and Richter fell out in 2010—Zeit Online says that Richter, who runs the café, has refused to pay into the non-profit fund they both started and also made cultural events like art exhibits and readings in the café impossible, as he frequently rents the venue out for private parties. The article also says that the Park Fiction archives, which are housed in the upstairs space, are not easily available to visitors, as stipulated in the original agreement. Quoted in the Hamburg magazine Mittendrin yesterday, Schamoni expressed optimism about this next phase. "My hope is that the trial brings peace to the strained relationship between the businesses downstairs and upstairs through an equitable distribution of rights and obligations." The Morgenpost article, though, shows pictures of Richter and Schamoni in court and details a house divided. According to the original rental agreement, Richter is obligated to pay 20 percent of the cafe's revenue to the non-profit organization. Allegedly the café isn't earning any money, so Richter currently pays no rent. Richter has refused to show his books to prove this statement, and also turned down the judge's proposal to sell the café and turn it into a foundation. The trial has been put on hold, and the judge has ordered Richter to show his bookkeeping. Photo credit: Christian Olofsson