In a staggering act of stupidity and self-sabotage, the government of Berlin is allowing portions of the last significant remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall to be removed for – we’re not making this up – luxury apartments. That’s right, luxury apartments. Playing off of the famous Cold War quote by Reagan, Berliners have responded to the mayor, “Mr. Wowereit, don’t tear down this Wall!”
Known as the East Side Gallery, the stretch of wall runs for over a kilometer and is covered with some of Berlin’s most famous street art. The site commemorates the sense of survival and rebelliousness that once defined Europe’s edgiest city. Damaging the site is no less than an attack on the spirit of the city itself.
Ironically, construction crews literally had to tear down signs declaring the East Side Gallery a nationally protected historical monument. Visitors are repeatedly warned that any damage to the wall is punishable under German law… unless, of course, you’re a wealthy property developer. Impromptu protests sprung up on Friday challenging this act of overt corruption and temporarily halting the assault on the wall, but police quickly swept in to ensure that nobody got in the way of “progress.”
We’re not sure just how much of the wall will eventually be removed, so we walked the length of the wall this weekend documenting the latest layer of wall art. We’ve added twelve images to our Berlin Wall Art pictorial.