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Germany

German Plans for a Unity Monument Taking Shape

In November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down, allowing for the reunification of East and West Berlin, and ultimately East and West Germany. Two decades later Berlin is planning a monument to commemorate the event.

Berliners sing and dance atop the wall to celebrate the opening of East-West German borders November 10, 1989

November 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

The German government has announced that in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, next November it will release the results of an architecture competition to design a memorial commemorating German unification.

Speaking with AP news agency, Minister of Culture Bernd Neumann said that construction on the memorial will start in 2010 and should be complete by 2012. Berlin has set aside 15 million euros ($21 million) for the project.

The architects should pay special attention to their entries, said Neumann, because the memorial shouldn't just remind people of the Wall and reunification, but rather all “positive occurrences in German history, starting with the freedom movements in the 19th century.”

The Christian Democrat politician also announced that the position of the memorial has already been decided on. It will stand in central Berlin, near the Berliner City Palace ( Berliner Schloss) on top of the 80 by 40-meter pedestal once occupied by a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm.

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