Recently we reported that plans to remove an historic section of the Berlin Wall to allow a property development to go ahead had led to protests in the German capital. The section in question is part of the East Side Gallery stretch of the wall which has been decorated by international artists and is considered to be a symbol of freedom by Berliners.
Contractors working for the developer attempted to remove the sections on March 1 but were forced to abandon their attempts when they were faced with hundreds of demonstrators.
On Wednesday, protected by 250 police officers, the builders succeeded in removing four sections measuring around 1.2m to allow access to the construction site.
In total around 22m will be dismantled during the course of the project, but the developer has made attempts to appease critics by pledging that the sections will be replaced when the building work is complete.
The Berlin Wall was built by communist East Germany in 1961 to seal of West Berlin. Between its construction and its destruction in a popular uprising 28 years later, at least 136 people were killed attempting to flee to the West.
The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining stretch of the wall and is covered by the work of over 100 artists. It was recently restored by the city council at a cost of over £2m. Actor David Hasselhoff is among those who have lent their support to the campaign to prevent the demolition of the gallery.
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