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Protesters Block Dismantling Part of Berlin Wall
Date:2013-3-4    Publisher:本站原创

Protesters Block Dismantling Part of Berlin Wall


 

Michael Scaturro
March 02,2013

BERLIN — Protesters in Berlin are trying to stop developers from dismantling one of the longest remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall. But, they face an uphill battle.

The Berlin Wall was once of the starkest reminders of the Cold War. It was put up by communist East Germany in 1961, to stop its citizens from fleeing to West Berlin. But today, the wall that once snaked around the whole German capital is almost entirely gone.

Except for at the East Side Gallery. Today, the one-mile-long stretch of the wall contains murals by artists from around the world.

But on Friday, construction workers began removing a 22-meter chunk of the wall, the first step in a project that aims to build a luxury apartment tower on the site.

And that has caused a stir -- 200 people turned out to protest, and three were arrested.

Kani Alvi is an artist whose mural appears on the wall. He says the wall is too historically significant to tamper with.

"This is the longest remaining stretch of the wall. If we take it apart, we won't have proof to show future generations how extensive the wall was, and how it divided the people," he said. "And this is a message that we must continue teaching. Without the wall, future generations won't believe how it really was.

The mayor of Berlin declined to comment for this story. But Volker Thoms, a spokesman for the builder, Living Bauhaus, told VOA that his company intends to reconstruct the pieces of the wall elsewhere on its property. He also noted something that even local papers and some Berliners have pointed out -- that this valuable land had been sitting disused for years.

The wall is technically a protected historical site. But last week, the city gave the go ahead to remove part of the wall. Tourists were surprised at the news, including some students from the New York area.

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