Berlin Wall Paintings to be Demolished

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The Berlin Wall’s celebrated 1.3km-long outdoor gallery, covered in paintings by international artists, will crumble this spring to make way for construction of luxury flats. This from London’s The Guardian:

6a00d8341c730253ef01156fb13be1970b-800wiThe latest threat is from Living Levels, a 63-metre-high tower of 36 flats and offices, which its developers, Living Bauhaus, describe as a “totally new dimension of life and living” offering “breathtaking panoramic views”.

But opponents of the plan said it would destroy the aesthetics of the gallery, which is visited by an estimated 800,000 visitors a year, as well as insulting the memory of those who were killed on the former death strip.

The wall art area, known as the East Side Gallery, includes the noted painting of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and German politician Erich Honecker locked in a passionate embrace, along with bright fantasy-faces work by French artist Thierry Noir, and other icons. Noir told The Guardian:

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All the paintings have become a symbol of freedom in Berlin and Europe. Unlike elsewhere in the city, where the majority of the wall has been removed, this is a unique opportunity to preserve a large section of what was once a death strip. If you remove the sections, you’re destroying the authenticity of this place.

Meanwhile, Noir’s work is also appearing in London, where he’s just collaborated with street artist Stik to paint the 128 square metre Village Underground Wall in Shoreditch, East London. More about that here.