Cracks appear in Brandenburg Gate

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6 Dec, 2008 Updated Sat 6 Dec 2008 09:59 CEST
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To the consternation of tourists and preservationists, large cracks have appeared in part of Berlin’s famed Brandenburg Gate due to faulty repair work, the daily Tagesspiegel reported on Saturday.

During the Cold War, the Brandenburg Gate, which stood just behind the Berlin Wall, was a symbol of a divided Germany. Today, the historic structure, which dates to 1791, may be a symbol of shoddy workmanship, says the foundation responsible for maintaining the Gate.

The arms-width cracks on the north gate house are part of the “everyday life in the construction business,” said Volker Härtig, head of the Foundation for Historical Preservation in Berlin to the Tagesspiegel.

The contractor that helped restore the gate at the beginning of the decade has since gone bankrupt and is no longer responsible for guaranteeing the quality of the its work. Instead, the foundation has to pick up the €30,000 repair bill.

Experts quizzed by the Tagesspiegel speculated that the cracks could also be due to nearby subway tunnel construction and the steady stream of heavy trucks that drop off materials for fancy events on neighboring Pariser Platz.

Härtig told the newspaper that if no new cracks appear, the Gate’s problems will have been solved, but if new cracks appear, then there could be a serious problem.



2008/12/06 09:59

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