Undertakers Thomas Brandl (L) and Michael Koenigsfeld pose with an urn and coffin featuring homoerotic artwork in their funeral parlour in the northwestern German city of Cologne. Brandl, 32, and his 34-year-old business partner Michael Koenigsfeld, said they had branched out into the gay market in order to satisfy the increasing number of special requests they received.

The gay couple also sell coffins and urns in rainbow colors — the international symbol of the gay and lesbian movement — and offer burials around a tree reserved for homosexuals. The unconventional coffin pictured, decorated with images of mostly naked, muscular young men in athletic poses inspired by the paintings of the Italian Renaissance, costs 1,650 euros or $2,300 UDS.