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Berlin Wall to get 'West Side Gallery'
Photo: DPA

Berlin Wall to get 'West Side Gallery'

Published: 27 Dec 2012 12:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2012 12:16 GMT+01:00

One of the German capital's most famous tourist attractions could soon have a "b-side." A new gallery is being planned for the back of the East Side Gallery, the series of paintings daubed on one of the remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall.

The other side of the East Side Gallery would host temporary exhibitions starting as early as summer 2013, if the Green Party's initiative comes to fruition, the Berliner Morgenpost daily reported Thursday.

The proposal describes the space on the western side of the Berlin Wall as "one of the most exciting and sought-after free surfaces for the presentation of art." The Green Party's Kristine Jaath, who is behind the initiative, added, "The back of the East Side Gallery was once meant to be kept white, but it has not been white for a long time. It is covered with graffiti."

The Green party, which governs the Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain district where the Berlin Wall is located, suggested opening the new gallery with a series of 35 photographs by Kai Wiedenhöfer, which showing eight border regions around the world. The content of the follow-up exhibitions would be decided by an international competition.

The initiative, currently being discussed by the city's culture committee, would be curated by Adrienne Goehler, Berlin's former Green culture minister.

Wiedenhöfer and Goehler presented their exhibition plans this month. Named Wall on Wall, the collection of photos would be stuck onto the wall as posters over a 350-metre stretch of the wall. Each of the images would be three by nine metres in size, and would show images of borders in Baghdad, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, between the US and Mexico, and between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

But any cultural use of the Berlin Wall has to meet strict criteria - the concrete cannot be damaged or substantially altered, and anything that is shown there must be appropriate to the historical significance of the location.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:52 December 27, 2012 by Tonne
If the back of the East Side Gallery was meant to be kept white, then it should have been kept white and any graffiti removed as soon as it appeared.

From my point of view, keeping the East Side white would have contrasted the difference between the previous regimes: the right to free speech in the West, as exemplified by the graffiti, versus the absence of free speech in the East. Or would that be a denial of free speech?
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