- Posted March 3, 2013 by
Historic Berlin Wall Monument is threatened by developers
Friday morning part of the East Side Gallery, the longest still standing stretch of the Berlin wall, which stands under historical monument protection in the east of Berlin, was torn down by developers to make way for a block of luxury flats. After large crowds gathered to protest, the demolition work was temporarily stopped but it is not known for how long the wall will still be protected from further damage.
Continuing protests are under way at the threatened location. The protesters have set up a petition on change.org, asking the Mayor of Berlin to uphold the historic protection of this monument and stop building in this location on the former "death-strip".
The 1.3 km long stretch of wall, which carries works by some 120 artists and is a dramatic monument to the tragedy of the partitioned city, runs parallel to the River Spree and is an obligatory “must see” for visitors to Berlin.
Setting aside the blindness to the cultural-historic damage caused by this destruction, how can a city government, lead by Klaus Wowereit, which claims to promote the economic interests of the city allow a protected historic monument which is a tourist magnet to be damaged?
And I can’t help thinking, that when Ronald Reagan asked Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”, he would have seen the sense of leaving a bit of it standing to remind people of the cruelty of despotic regimes and the bravery of the people who died trying to cross that wall to choose their own futures...
Photograph: East Side Gallery, works by Thierry Noir, photographed by André Huppertz and distributed under GFDL.