If Germany has a national poet, it's Heinrich Heine, and if it has a national poem, it's "Die Lorelei". It tells of a siren that lives in the eponymous river, luring sailors with her song. So it's no surprise that some Germans wanted to honor the poem and its author by building a monument to it and him. And what better place to honor Heine than his birthplace of Dusseldorf!
Not so fast: some of the ever-tolerant Germans rejected the tribute to their supposedly-favorite son. You see, Heine was born Jewish.
German-Americans stepped in. Apparently they had no qualms with Heine's origins, so a monument was commissioned and ready to be placed, smack in the middle of Manhattan.
Not so fast: the monument was to be... not aesthetically pleasing.
A long tug-of-war ensued, and Lorelei ended up in the Bronx, where, according to an architecture magazine, its ugliness could be hidden among "the mass of wooden tenements and crazy beer-shops".
It still stands in the Bronx, in a park, a short walk from Yankee Stadium. And... yeah, it's pretty ugly, siren and all.
But at least there's a New York City monument honoring a Jew. Thanks, Germany!