Berlin is erecting a fence around the Berlin Wall. City officials announced Nov. 5 that a historic length of wall known as the East Side Gallery (link in German) will soon be surrounded by another barrier, in order to protect it from tourists.
Covered with historic paintings by over 100 artists, the 1.3 kilometer (0.81 miles) East Side Gallery receives so many visitors that graffiti, scratches, and scrawled names are becoming a serious problem. “We’ve witnessed in the last weeks and months an unbelievable amount of vandalism,” a neighborhood spokesperson told the German daily newspaper, Berliner Zeitung.
Founded by two artists groups in 1990, one year after the fall of Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery’s works demonstrate the euphoria and optimism of the end of the Cold War. It is thought to be one of the world’s largest and longest-standing outdoor art galleries.
According to the Local, the new fence is a temporary measure during the restoration of the wall and its artworks. The East Side Gallery calls the barricade “temporary” on their Facebook page.
The fence is bound to disappoint tourists, who flock to the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg neighborhood to take pictures in front of the gallery.