Berlin’s East Side Gallery has been in the news lately.
At 1.3 kilometers long, it is the longest piece of the Berlin Wall still standing. Soon after the wall came down in 1990, 118 artists from 21 countries each painted a segment of this portion of the wall and it was named East Side Gallery. It is one of the largest outside galleries in the world. Thousands of tourists walk the wall every year. In 2009 the murals were renovated at a cost of 2 million Euros.
It not only has artistic importance but obviously is of historic importance as well. This particular segment was known as the death strip as several people were found dead after trying to escape to the West.
On March 1, 2013, a 23 meter section of the East Side Gallery was scheduled to be removed to make way for luxury apartments. None of the artists whose work was to be destroyed was informed of these plans. To date, the developers have removed one section of the wall, however, demonstrators and petitioners took immediate action and have managed to delay further demolition…. For now…. Demonstrators continue to be vigilant…
The majority of the wall was to be destroyed when it was dismantled in 1990. However, much of it ended up in various parts of the world in courtyards and office buildings, museum, hotels, and universities….. as…. Art…. (?)
There is one panel in the courtyard of the John Hopkins University SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, in Washington DC. There are two more segments in DC, one in the lobby of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trace Center, and eight sections are on exhibit at the Newseum.
But none are as lovely and interesting as the East Side Gallery.