Schiffer Ad Termed 'Tasteless'

03/08/1999 at 12:00 AM EST

A larger-than-life advertising banner featuring German supermodel Claudia Schiffer was draped over Berlin's landmark Memorial Church Monday in a controversial move to fund repairs of the structure. French cosmetics company L'Oreal SA sponsored the renovation of the church's 174-foot-high bell tower with $130,000 in exchange for the right to hang giant banners featuring the blonde beauty and other models on the tower's scaffolding. Critics called the banners "tasteless" and "sacrilegious," but Lutheran Church Bishop Wolfgang Huber told a newspaper that the congregation needed the extra funds and did not plan to use the church tower as ad space on a regular basis.

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