23/04/2009: Berlin Wall Murals to be Re-created
120 Artists works decorate the 'East Side Gallery'
Paintings that adorned the East side of the Berlin wall are to be restored in a scheme to breathe a new life into the dilapidated wall that now serves as one of Berlins main tourist attraction. After the wall was torn down, a group of eastern Berlin artists called the East Side Gallery recognised the wall as the 'worlds largest open-air gallery' and decorated the wall with a series of murals to breathe life into the structure that once split their city in two. The paintings were political remembrances to the purpose of the wall as it stood dividing Berlin's citizens because of political beliefs.
However, some artists are refusing to re-create the original murals seeing the recreation of the original works as a money spinner to bring more tourism and defeating the point of the original paintings. Russian artist Dmitri Vrubel whose original painting is one of the most iconic images to embellish the wall is refusing to recreate his work that portrays East German leader Erich Honecker kissing Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev. The image has been replicated into souvenirs for tourists visiting the wall and the artist sees this as a betrayal of his copyrights as an artist. 'I cannot simply paint a new picture like making a sandwich!' says Vrubel. So far 86 out of 120 artists have agreed to the restoration of their works.