Christchurch gifted pieces of Berlin Wall

Two segments of the Berlin Wall will soon make up the already diverse selection of art in Christchurch.
Christchurch City Council.

Two segments of the Berlin Wall will soon make up the already diverse selection of art in Christchurch.

People across the world remember the Berlin Wall falling in 1989. 

Today, thanks to a team effort between local government and private enterprise, Christchurch owns two pieces of it. 

The two pieces of the wall were gifted to Christchurch by the German construction firm tasked with dismantling the wall, which separated East and West Berlin for almost 40 years. 

From left, city councillor Vicki Buck, Southbase Construction chief executive Quin Henderson, SCAPE Public Art Director ...
Christchurch City Council.

From left, city councillor Vicki Buck, Southbase Construction chief executive Quin Henderson, SCAPE Public Art Director Deborah McCormick and council development director Peter Vause with a piece of the Berlin Wall.

They cleared customs earlier in the week and will be displayed publicly somewhere in the city - where is yet to be decided. 

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"The fall of the Berlin Wall was a major event in modern history, not only for Berlin and Germany, but also for Europe and the world," New Zealand's ambassador to Germany Rob Harris said.

A cyclist passes the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauerstrasse, Berlin.
Alamy

A cyclist passes the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauerstrasse, Berlin.

"Today, sections of the wall are on display around the world and stand for the peaceful and successful pursuit of liberty."

Christchurch City Councillor social and development committee chairman Phil Clearwater said the city was "very fortunate to have had these sections of the Wall gifted to us".

"They will stand as a reminder of that historic event, just as the Firefighters Memorial made from steel beams salvaged from New York's World Trade Centre after 9/11 serve as a reminder of that world-changing event."

Southbase Construction paid for the segments from the firm, EMP Beratungsgesellschaft, to be shipped to Christchurch.

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Chief executive Quin Henderson said the work allowed them to bring something "of great meaning to our city".

"Sections, such as these, are on display across the globe and represent the peaceful and successful pursuit of freedom," Henderson said.

A group of Berlin-based students with learning disabilities painted one section in late 2014, while the second was painted to represent themes from popular British television show Doctor Who.

SCAPE Public Art worked with CCC to procure the pieces. Director Deborah McCormick said previous work on art projects connecting Christchurch with other cities, including the Solidarity Grid on Park Tce, helped to understand the significance of the wall segments.

"It was rewarding to be able to use that expertise for this particular connection to Germany," McCormick said.

The segments were being stored in a secure CCC facility until it was decided where they would be placed.

 

 

 - Stuff

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