Sections of the Berlin Wall to go on sale in Sussex

Parts of the historic Berlin Wall are to be sold off at a Sussex auction.

Friday, 11th January 2019, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 11th January 2019, 10:53 am
Parts of the historic Berlin Wall are to be sold at an auction in Billingshurst SUS-191101-102243001

The sale marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall and the end of the Cold War which led to the re-unification of Germany.

The auction is being staged at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, near Horsham, on March 12. Going under the hammer will be sections of the wall that were part of a memorial to 258 people killed at the wall while trying to escape to freedom.

The wall was built in sections, each 3.6 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide. The auction will include six complete sections of the Berlin Wall to be sold in two lots.

Part of the Berlin Wall SUS-191101-102254001

German artist and environmental activist Ben Wagin painted powerful messages over these sections of the wall in 1990 after initial visitors had chipped off the original graffiti - creating a uniquely textured surface.

It is these sections that were part of the memorial to the 258 people killed at the wall trying to escape, called the Parliament of Trees, in the middle of Berlin opposite the Reichstag. These parts of the original memorial had to be removed to make room for additional constructions.

Auction spokesman James Rylands said: “This is such an historic offering. These parts of the wall were safely preserved since 1990, and the two complete wall sections are now available for sale and would look great in a public garden or museum as well as in a private home.

“It is a great architectural and artistic statement, but also a symbol of the triumph of freedom over tyranny.”

Part of the Berlin Wall SUS-191101-102304001

There are only 16 known full-sized parts of the wall in public places outside Berlin. The bigger section of the wall is covered with a quote by the German President at the time, Richard von Weizsäcker, who said: “To unite means to learn to share.”

The reverse shows graffiti ‘Berlin November 1989’. It is estimated that it will sell for £10,000-£15,000, while the smaller section ‘Earth returns to Earth’ is expected to fetch £4,000-£6,000.