The Berlin Wall Is Going up Again, This Time as a Tourist Attraction

Aug 29, 2018

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If you are traveling to Berlin this fall, you might be surprised to see a notorious site that was destroyed decades ago: the Berlin Wall.

For four weeks in October, a group of artists are constructing a life-sized replica of the infamous wall, which separated West Berlin from Soviet-ruled East Berlin during the Cold War and was torn down by protestors in 1989.

According to the AP, the artists’ group behind the project, DAU, says the experience would be like “a city within a city.” Visitors to the replica wall will buy a “visa” online for about 15 euros ($17.50 USD). After entering the exhibit, tourists will trade in their own smartphones for one that gives them an individual tour around the installation, which includes documentaries, exhibits and concerts (visitors will be told ahead of time what events are taking place that day in the walled-off “city”). The smartphone will guide tourists to individualized experiences like a fake conference of scientists or a meeting with a counselor, the AP reports. Visitors can reject the suggestions, and the smartphone will provide another experience.

The walled-in district would be one block of downtown Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard and would encompass several historical buildings, including the State Opera and the Kurfuerstenpalais palace. Viewing platforms that mimic those that used to stand in West Berlin to peer into East Berlin would also be part of the installation — only now they would look from the “East” into the “West.”

The artists are aiming to sell 1,500-3,000 tickets per day. They want the installation to evoke “traveling to a foreign country and losing the sense of freedom” and not a “Disney-style East Germany,” Thomas Oberender of the Berliner Festspiele — a performing arts group in the city — told the AP.

The art installation, which is still waiting for final approval from the city, will be torn down on Nov. 9, the same date that the actual Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989.

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