a couple of days ago i had the PBS NewsHour on and they had a segment, embedded below, about the East Side Gallery and its impending partial tear-down to build an apartment complex. of course, i’d rather see the Gallery preserved. not only is it a tangible piece of 20th century history, but it’s covered with amazing (and often political) street art.
sidebar the Gallery is the longest extant piece of the Berlin Wall, and it’s easy to get to from the Warschauer Straße S/U-Bahn stop — just walk south towards the river.
i had the opportunity to go to the East Side Gallery when i went to Berlin in 2006 for Loveparade (gone but not forgotten) — my first visit to what is now one of my favorite cities. (really, how could you study in Germany and not experience Loveparade, i ask.) [photo set from that trip]
here are some pictures from the East Side Gallery from my visit. there is a certain symbiosis between the historic structure and the amazing street art on it that you really have to be physically present to fully comprehend, so it was quite painful, even as an outsider, to see pieces removed in the NewsHour piece. however, the best part of the report was actually seeing Thierry Noir, whose seminal works (the heads in the first image below) are arguably at the core of the Gallery.
Watch A Battle to Preserve the Berlin Wall as Cold War Landmark on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
(as a child of the ’80s i still find it hard not to call it the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, but that’s another story for another time)