Parts of Remaining Berlin Wall Under Threat of Demolition

A note on goings-on in Berlin this morning: I was surprised to learn that the municipal authorities responsible for the land surrounding what remains of the Berlin Wall - which is now a national monument - have granted Living Bauhaus, a real estate development company, the permission to construct luxury condominiums near the Wall... and to remove parts of it in order to provide access to the new development.

It strikes me as odd that a national monument, a memorial of global significance, would be unprotected, but apparently there is no law prohibiting this type of removal. It does not, however, strike me as odd that the district would grant permission for the removal - economic development is a genuinely important priority for any municipality, but it has to be balanced against cultural and historical concerns. 

I imagine the municipal authorities believe that the luxury condos will bring in residents with a greater disposable income, and will spend said income in the surrounding neighborhoods, revitalizing the economy for the benefit of all. Real estate projects of this type can be, when well designed, a legitimate means of promoting economic development for neighborhoods as a whole (albeit at the risk of gentrifying them), and isn't it worth making a compromise between keeping most of the Wall (thus honoring the past) and promoting development (thus honoring the needs of the present)? However - and this is a crucial point - if the district reaffirms the removal, the remaining monument must be protected under the law from further demolition.

In the end, as an avid traveler (and someone who has never visited Berlin but looks forward to doing so in the future), I wish the remnants of the Wall would remain intact, and I'm curious to see how this story unfolds in the coming days.

What are your thoughts?

Yours truly, one crumbled stone at a time,


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