What Is It About the «Winti Stadtleu»?

Sarah Stifter
05. September 2023

In addition to my work as Deputy Head of Marketing for KELLER, I devote most of my free time to artistic creation. For this reason, as a passionate painter, I was very happy about the opportunity to realise the city project «Winti Stadtleu» for KELLER and FC Winterthur.

Winterthur not only bears the lion on its city coat of arms, but we also encounter it in many places in our daily lives. For example, in the logo of the city administration and the Winterthur Music Festival Weeks, on posters that draw our attention to the issue of littering and at numerous sports clubs, including of course our beloved FCW.

The city project «Winti Stadtleu» (Winti City Lion) offers local SMEs the opportunity to show their support for Winterthur as a business location and at the same time to present themselves to the public. The businesses could purchase a life-size sculpture of a lioness or a lion and design it freely. For two months, from the beginning of September to the end of October 2023, Winterthur's city centre will become an open-air museum and «Winti Stadtleue» will be presented at various locations. The installation consists of the sculpture including a wooden platform with seating and greenery.


«Peace, freedom, football and pressure measurement technology.»


The vision of a «sky lion» very quickly arose in my head. Not only the legendary rise of FCW in 2022 under the title "We'll be up there", but also our corporate values inspired me to do so. As a symbol for our philosophy, for freedom and the love of wisdom and truth, the seagull adorns our logo. The sky offers them a boundless habitat.

Delivery and preparation of the lion

Our lion was delivered in mid-April and as I could hardly wait, I already started the preparatory work one day later. The lion is made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) and the surface had to be sanded in two passes with different grit sizes to give the paint application more adhesion. Then I cleaned the lion so that no sanding dust or greasy surfaces could affect the paint bond.

Preparatory work on the lion

Painting and varnishing

In three passes I primed the lion with acrylic paint and already defined the area that would later form the lion's mane and coloured it green. After that I painted the gauntlets and devoted a whole morning to the sky. Painting a sky is not that easy, because the clouds have to be modelled piece by piece with the brush with a lot of love, time and the most different colour shades. The most challenging part, however, were the tattoos. The lions of Winterthur  and the KELLER seagull are very filigree and detailed and require a super steady hand, which I unfortunately don't have every day. Fortunately, it worked well on this day.

Finally, I touched up a few small things and I could start with the painting. I wanted to preserve the naturalness of the painting and for this reason I opted for a matt varnish.


A few pieces of artificial turf were delivered to my house by the very nice FCW groundsman and the final act could begin. I used the artificial grass scraps to give our lion a mane befitting its status. After a few hours of puzzle work - I had to cut around 30 pieces of artificial grass - I was able to finalise the lion.

Artificial grass parts for the mane

And last but not least

What was still missing was the name. For this reason, we launched an appeal in our internal staff magazine KELLERinsight and asked all KELLERs to send us suggestions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the numerous submissions. It was very difficult for me to decide on a name in the end.

Our lion is called «Amias» which is supposed to stand for a nicer variation of the Latin word «Amicus - the friend».

And what additional joy, the FCW then stays on top for once. 😊

«Amias» on the Winterthur Kirchplatz


Further blog posts

A Day in Saas-Fee With Snowboarder Kalle Koblet


Singapore the Lion City


The «ISM» From Jens’s Point of View


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