I'm putting together our 24 Essential Hours guide to Berlin (it won't be out until next month - feast your eyes on our fabulous 24 Essential Hours in Paris, London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Ibiza, NY, Vegas and Sydney ). One recommendation the East Side Gallery, an open-air gallery built from the remainder of the Berlin Wall.
I first went to Berlin in 1990, just after the wall had come down. My friends and I bought back bits of wall (which may have come from any old building site as far as we knew) as souvenirs. It was cheap, because there was loads of it. And now ... the1.3km long East Side Gallery is all that's left of it.
In some ways that just as it should be - and the 160 works painted by international artists just after the wall came down (currently being restored for this year's 20th anniversary) are the perfect tribute. But, art aside, as other walls - between Israel and Palestine, at the Beijing Olympics - go up, do we need a more explicit reminder of the suffering and destruction caused by these 'war of the walls'? In the meantime, here's a video of the gallery and the responses of a group of teachers that was sent there by the Berlin Media Education Cours.more blog posts