When the Berlin Wall was still standing, numerous German and international artists would come to cover the western part of the “wall of shame” with graffiti and paintings.
On November 9, 1989, the wall was destroyed. The Cold War was over which paved the way for a reunified Germany. But fragments of the destroyed wall remain significant symbols of the past. Today, three cement relics can be found in Brussels.
Fragments of the Wall in Brussels
In 2009, Brussels commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a full scale exhibition. About ten parts of the Berlin Wall were borrowed from the German capital and placed on Place du Luxembourg. They are the symbol of the European construction and reconciliation of the east and the west. Several months later, the 3.6 meter high segments were sent back to their original home, except for three that still remain in Brussels today.
Two parts of the Wall visible now
After several years of artistic debate, the European Parliament finally took two of the remains under their wing. The first section was visible up until Friday, November 7 on Place du Luxembourg. It will be moved to the esplanade in front of the European Parliament where a pedestal has been installed to hold it.
Even though it’s been badly vandalized, we can still read the inscriptions, “New NW 9.85”, that refer to the world record time at the time for the 100 meter dash.
The second part of the Wall was erected on Rue Wiertz in front of the European Parliament. It displays an original work of the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The “Place Potsdam” was considered a no man’s land at the time, cut in half by the wall. Eventually the segment will join the European History Museum that will be built in Parc Leopold by 2016.
A third segment in restoration
The European Commission in Belgium is responsible for the third part of the Wall. President Kennedy is seen in front of an American flag background. You will have to have a little patience before being able to admire this particular piece. It is currently in a warehouse waiting to be restored.
The wall segment will undergo treatment for removing the graffiti. “Then it should be placed on the esplanade of the Commission next year for the anniversary of the German reunification,” Jimmy Jamar, in charge of the European Commission representation in Belgium, explains. “Placed where it can be watched and protected!”
Photo taken before damage