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|Summary:||NEWS FEATURE 17 years after Berlin Wall fell, Germany struggles to preserve its remains|
|Date:||08/13/2007 12:30 PM|
1. Travelling along the east side gallery
2. Various of damaged illustrations on East Side gallery
3. Head of East Side gallery artists, Kani Alavi, checking his painting
4. Wide of Alavi walking by his painting
5. SOUNDBITE: (German) Kani Alavi, head of East Side gallery artists:
"If the politicians do not start to act soon we won't have the East Side gallery in its authentic form any longer. We have to act now and we have to use the finances we have received from several sources; the government, the city of Berlin, private sponsors and Lotto."
6. Close of gap in a wall
7. Med of split wall
8. Med of damaged wall and illustration
9. Wide of tourists walking along the East Side gallery
10. SOUNDBITE: (German) Manfred K�hne, Berlin city official:
"We have to coordinate the construction of a park, the reconstruction of the wall and the repainting of the paintings at the wall. The reconstruction of the wall and the repainting is delayed because we had to move some old houses from the park area."
11. Wide of Berlin wall
12. Various of East Side gallery illustrations
Seventeen years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, city officials and artists are locked in a battle to save one of the largest remaining sections of the historic monument from property developers, pollution, and vandalism.
The East Side Gallery, a three-quarter-mile stretch in Berlin's Friedrichshain neighbourhood, features the work of over a hundred international artists and includes iconic images like the embrace between East German leader Erich Honecker and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
This popular tourist spot is in danger of disappearing altogether because of deteriorating walls, pollution, and tourists who like to pick-off pieces for souvenirs.
September's planned restoration is put at 1.8 (m) million US dollars, a figure that will increase depending on how much of the wall and its artwork can be saved.
Kani Alavi, heads up the East Side Gallery's Artists' association who fight to preserve the wall.
Alavi, an Iranian-born artist who contributed a mural in the 1990s says that politicians have to "act soon" to keep the Gallery "authentic".
"We have to act now and we have to use the finances we have received from several sources; the government, the city of Berlin, private sponsors and Lotto."
Another obstacle to restoration is property development planned for the area.
Manfred K�hne, a city official says: "We have to coordinate the construction of a park, the reconstruction of the wall and the repainting of the paintings at the wall. The reconstruction of the wall and the repainting is delayed because we had to move some old houses from the park area."
The wall's western side was covered in graffiti during the decades after the barrier was erected on Aug. 13, 1961. Parts of the eastern side, to which the East Side Gallery belongs, were painted only after communism collapsed.