Berlin’s Most Famous Mural to be Torn Down

Blu Mural Curvystrasse/Schlesische Strasse Photo: Author

Two of the most famous street art murals in Berlin are under threat of destruction. The buildings on which the murals were painted are to be bulldozed in order to make room for a new housing development, reported the Local.

The murals, located on Curvystraße in the city’s Kreuzberg district were painted by the Italian street artist Blu in 2007 and 2008 (see “Berlin’s Top 5 Graffiti and Street Art Murals“). One mural depicts a headless man straightening his tie and wearing gold watches on both wrists connected by a chain. The second shows two figures trying to unmask each other one twists his fingers into a ‘W’ (West) and the other into an ‘E’ (East).

According to the Local, the real-estate investor Artur Süsskind and architectural firm Langhof plan to tear down the buildings and replace them with 250 apartments, a kindergarten, a supermarket, and an open air terrace facing the Spree River.

Meanwhile an online petition was started by Berliner Jascha Herr, calling for the artworks to be protected under Germany’s monument protection statute. Herr writes in his petition:

The city of Berlin loves to promote its alternative scene—and more precisely the cultural value of its artists—but it simultaneously discards them. It is simply about selling to investors who only see personal profit in the alternative landmarks of the city. But the cultural identity of the city belongs to all of us.

A spokeswoman from the senate department of urban development, Petra Rohland, told Der Tagesspiegel that monument protection can only be granted if the buildings and artworks are of historical, urban, or cultural significance. She added that the most recent sites granted monument status are from the 1970s. “Perhaps this street art is simply to young,” she speculated.


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