The Berlin Wall, once hated by Berliners, is now a huge part of the cultural heritage of the city and of Germany. What remains of this important historical and cultural landmark is now under threat. Berlin construction investor "Living Bauhaus" owned by Uwe Hinkel started to take down part of the so called "East Side Gallery" on March 1st in order to build high-end apartments on what was once called the "death strip." Huge protests are now taking off online and through the streets of Berlin in order to protect the Berlin Wall Monument.
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When the wall originally came down, most of it was torn down and either sold or sent to museums around the world. The part of the Berlin Wall that remained was transformed into one of the world's largest open air art galleries. Scores of international artists were invited to create colorful murals on the wall and it was renovated as recently as 2009.
At first, the construction workers were stopped by over 500 Berliners asking the Mayor of Berlin to step in and protect one of the most important monuments in Berlin. On March 3rd 10.000 Berliners marched to the East Side Gallery and demanded of Mayor Klaus Wowereit:
1. The East Side Gallery and the former Deat Strip must be preserved.
2. The area between the wall, former death strip and the river Spree must not be built on.
3. The Senate and the district must implement a building moratorium.
4. The Senate and the district must report to Parliament shortly on the legal situation.
5. As far as land is still in possession of the country, the inclusion in category 4 - areas of development - must be reconsidered.
6. Negotiations should begin with the investors about a land exchange.
7. The Senate and the district must immediately arrange a comprehensive conservation law for the East Side Gallery.
8. The Senate and the district must submit full reports on these issues before Easter before the House of Representatives!
The long-outdated concept of privatization and profit maximization through compaction and development with offices, shopping malls and luxury condos to be cast in favor of a sustainable and future-oriented city planning board.
The group "Save the East Side Gallery" is asking all Berlin citizens and people around the world to take action to preserve this important cultural landmark. Sign this petition to tell Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit:
DO NOT TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!