What is the East Side Gallery? It is 1.3km of the Berlin Wall but not in its naked originality having been painted by 118 International Artists in an organised Project in 1990. The East Side Gallery was declared a Historic Monument in November 1991 and the majority of the paintings were completely renovated in 2009. The founder of the Gallery was David Monty.

Berlin East Side Gallery Berlin

Photo: Maga Navarrete, Pressenza, CC-BY-4.0

From left: Alfredo Sciuto, Thomas Rojahn, Sabine Kunz, Joerg Bereths, Tanja Drache, Some1, Chi Maulbetsch, Reto Thumiger, Christine MacLean, Werner Heck

The above photo shows a model of Wall sections created especially for the Hearing to “develop a concept for the future of East Side Gallery” held on 13. October 2017 in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum Berlin. It was created by Thomas Rojahn from the group Monument to Joy with help from some of his friends and placed in the grounds of the museum for the day.

Christine MacLean was the Manager of the project and the only person involved from the very beginning in January 1990 until the completion of the Gallery in September 1990. Her book tells the story of the creation of the gallery as well as giving an insight into life in both East and West Berlin at that time. Christine worked at the British Embassy in East Berlin for a few years whilst living in the West part of the divided city.

Read a series of interviews with the Guardian of those sharing their memories of when the Berlin Wall fell


Readers in the UK, US, Australia and Canada can of course order the book through their local book shop or online.

ISBN: 9783750405875

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