A kilometer-long section of the iconic Berlin Wall known as the 'East Side Gallery' is to be removed to enable construction workers to create access to a luxury block of flats. Local residents and artists have been demonstrating against the decision, arguing that it is a critical piece of history that must not be taken down.
Thierry Noir, an artist told AFP, “We are here to stop this project, because it is shameful that Berlin is getting destroyed, the art gallery over the wall is going to be a memorial to the world. We are painting the wall, not to make it famous, but to protect it. It is quite strange that beforehand, we wanted this wall to disappear, and now we are here to protect it.”
The Berlin wall was a physical division between West Berlin and East Germany from 1961 to 1989. It was also a symbolic boundary for democracy and Communism during the Cold War. The wall is stretched over a hundred miles and wraps West Berlin and separates West Berlin from the rest of East Germany, the wall began as a simple fence but it gradually evolved as a complex deterrent system.
The Berlin Wall prevented the majority of East Germans from emigrating to the West, but it did not prevent all. Most of the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Germany, was torn down and carted off to museums, and sold to tourists following the collapse of the iron curtain, but the section now under dispute was turned into an open-air gallery.
Michael Braun, CDU deputy for Berlin region, “We are all surprised by this development, we decided to find a solution, but first we need to get some legal advice. I can't say if it is going to succeed, but I do know, that we are going to find a way to preserve this part of wall.” About 30,000 people have signed a petition for calling of the project of demolition of the wall. But the crews are expected to return during mid-night to demolish the wall.