20 Years Later, Berlin Starts Saving Wall

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2009 1:46 AM CDT
Tourists walk past one of the most famous paintings of the East Side Gallery as renovation works start in Berlin, Germany.    (AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski, File)
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(Newser) – After many years of indifference, Berliners have started getting serious about saving what's left of the most famous symbol of the Cold War, Der Spiegel reports. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, locals viewed it as merely an unfortunate reminder of  a bad past and little thought was given to preservation. Researchers believe more pieces of the wall are now overseas than still in Berlin.

The feeling at the time was: "Why should we deal with this just because the rest of the world expects us to?'" said one wall researcher. There is still resistance to declaring Europe's most famous wall a world heritage site, but 26 wall remnants are now under protection orders.