A series of iconic murals painted onto the Berlin Wall are under threat of demolition, according to The Guardian.
The area is known as the East Side Gallery, an 0.8-mile stretch of the iconic monument covered in over one hundred designs by international artists, including a controversial painting of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and German politician Erich Honecker locked in a passionate embrace (below). But this portion of the wall stands in the path of the city's ongoing gentrification efforts and is set to be dismantled to make way for a block of luxury apartments.
The development project is being led by a group called Living Bauhaus, who described their endeavor as a "totally new dimension of life and living" on their website. Opponents of the over 200-foot tower, however, believe the monstrosity would destroy the city's unique outdoor art space, a tourist attraction that sees around 1,000 visitors a day.
"All the paintings have become a symbol of freedom in Berlin and Europe," artist Thierry Noir, the painter behind the giant colorful heads pictured above, told The Guardian. "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."
Construction on the new flats is set to begin this spring, opening up space for a new bridge connecting East and West Berlin as well, according to German news source, The Local.
This is the second time in a matter of several years that the wall has had segments removed to make way for city projects. Will Berlin become one big strip mall? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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