Berlin is often its own worst enemy. And this time we’re not even talking about the long-delayed opening of the BER airport. Now the controversy is over creating new gaps in the historic East Side Gallery, one of the last vestiges of the Berlin Wall. There is also an online petition to block further damage to the Gallery. All, typically for Berlin, too little too late.
As February became March 2013, suddenly Berlin – and the world – were paying close attention to the East Side Gallery, a little over 23 years after most of the Wall disappeared. Running along the banks of the Spree River, this 0.8-mile stretch of Hintermauer (“inside, ‘hinterland’ Wall”) blocks the river view from Mühlenstraße, the street that parallels the East Side Gallery. At least it did block the view until Berlin began punching holes in it. This piecemeal destruction of the Gallery took place despite so-called landmark protection granted in 1991.
The only reason this rare remaining stretch of the Wall is still standing at all is the artwork that first appeared on it back in 1990 – before the Berlin city fathers and mothers had time to tear down most of the Berlin Wall. READ MORE »