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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wall of light: 8,000 glowing balloons recreate the route of the Berlin Wall - At Least 1 Million to Celebrate 25 Years Since Berlin Wall Fell - PHOTO

8,000 Luftballons: The glowing installation winds its way past Berlin's major landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate

A quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the border between West and East has been lit up by 8,000 glowing balloons.

The bright orbs are part of the Lichtgrenze - or lightborder - art project, which has seen the balloons mark the dividing line that separated West and East Berlin for nearly 30 years.
An eight-mile stretch of the former border will be lit up until dusk on Sunday, when the orbs will be untethered and released into the sky.

A quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the border between West and East has been lit up by 8,000 glowing balloons

The balloons pass landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag as they zig-zag their way through Berlin.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit inaugarated the light installation in a ceremony near the Reichstag yesterday evening 

Beethoven's Ode to Joy will ring out as the balls of light are released - a symbol of peace in Europe 25 years on from the Wall's demolition.

Marc Bauder, who designed the art installation with his brother, Christopher Bauder, said: 'We wanted to counter this ominous, heavy structure with something light.
'Remembrance belongs to the people.'

The bright orbs mark the border which separated West and East Berlin from 1961 until 1989, when it was torn down by protestors

A total of 138 people were killed along the Berlin wall from 1961 until 1989 as they tried to flee, some just months before peaceful protests opened the border.  

More than one million people are expected to visit Berlin this weekend as the German city celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, according to tourist organization Visit Berlin.

The balloons are a poignant symbol of peace in Europe, 25 years on from the fall of the Wall that marked the demise of Communism  

Some visitors from Germany and around the world on Saturday took pictures in front of the graffiti-covered remnants of the Wall, the AFP reports. Others observed the 7,000 white balloons that are tethered along the Wall’s path and will be released Sunday to conclude three days of festivities.

Beethoven's Ode to Joy, from his Ninth Symphony, will ring out as the balls of light are released into the night sky on Sunday 

“I think you never forget how you felt that day — at least I will never forget it,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in the East Germany, in one of her podcasts. “I had to wait 35 years for that feeling of liberty. It changed my life.”

The Wall, which was established by East Germany in 1961 and was roughly 96 miles long, split the already-divided country’s capital into West Berlin and East Berlin. After weeks of civil protests, the government of Eastern Germany opened up the partition on Nov. 9, 1989, allowing residents to travel to the west side. The chipping away of the wall followed, but its actual demolition didn’t truly begin until the following year, just a few months before Germany would officially reunite.

Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, whose “glasnost” and “perestroika” reforms helped usher in the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Wall, is one many former political leaders attending a Sunday celebration featuring fireworks and a rock concert at the Brandenburg Gate, one of Germany’s most famous landmarks.










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