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Luxury Home Developer Wants to Tear Down Part of the Berlin Wall’s Remains

Cultural preservation met urban development over the weekend with protests to save the Berlin Wall

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An international group of artists was brought in to paint what is now the East Berlin Gallery, a 1300 meter stretch of the remnant Berlin Wall. Photo: Mike McHolm

It’s been nearly a quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Walla symbolic end of the Cold War and a physical destruction of the barrier separating East and West Germany. Parts of the Berlin Wall still stand, including the 1,420 yard-long portion now known as the East Side Gallery, a long, chipped stretch of concrete heavily adorned in paint.

But threatening a 22-meter piece of the East Side Gallery, says the CBC, is “a 14-storey luxury apartment block featuring floor-to-ceiling glass fronts.” To build their new apartments, Berlin-based Living Bauhaus wants to rip down the wall. And Berliners, it seems, are not happy with this idea.

“Several hundred demonstrators turned out on Friday, when work to remove the Wall temporarily stopped mid-morning after a crane had removed a first panel,” says The Local.

 ”I cannot and do not want to tolerate the little that remains standing of the Berlin Wall being damaged,” local Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele said.

The CBC says that the art on the wall will not be destroyed with the wall. Rather, the paintings will be moved to a nearby park. The protests stalled the deconstruction efforts for now, says Der Speigel. The wall will remain up for sure until at least March 18—the scheduled time of a meeting between the city and the developers.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Beyond the Wall: Berlin

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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