A protest to save part of the Berlin Wall from being knocked down to make way for luxury flats appears to have paid off.
Thousands of people had turned out over the weekend to block demolition of the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of one of the city’s most popular tourist attraction. Many here are prepared to do whatever it takes to keep the wall up.
One protester explained why he came: “When you pass along this wall you actually feel what this division meant. People from East Berlin were not able to see the (river) Spree anymore. I think this cannot simply be hacked and divided.”
The victory is only a stay of execution as the development project could still go ahead. Franz Schulz, the mayor of Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain said: “There’ll be a public debate in the city hall two weeks and talks will take place before on how we can prevent there being a gap in the wall.”
Since German reunification, the historical monument has become an open air gallery. Despite its popularity, city officials had given a construction firm permission to pull down a section of the wall.