The old Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus is a well-known one. The ancient Greek adage about not flying too close to the sun is a classic tale about the dangers of growing too confident.
The story also touches on the dangers of flying, as Icarus flies too high and ultimately plummets to his death. As such, this symbol about the risks of taking to the air seems like a strange thing to exhibit in an airport.
But there is more behind this as the exhibit. The artwork was made for Berlin-Tegel Airport to represent the likeness of Otto Lilienthal, Germany’s aviation pioneer who took to the sky in his homemade hang gliders. He’s a well-known person in Germany and has schools, streets, and buildings named after him, including the Tegel airport, with its full name being Berlin-Tegel “Otto Lilienthal” Airport. As such, this statue does not represent the failure of flight, but rather the perseverance that is necessary to achieve it. The statue artwork was made by Rolf Scholz in 1985.