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Germany

Possible New Start for Nazi Documentation Center

Four years after construction stopped on a planned documentation center on the Nazi regime, the German government isn't ruling out a whole new start on the project. The "Topography of Terror" center, which is to be built on the site of the old Nazi secret police headquarters in Berlin, was originally slated to cost €18 million ($21 million) when the cornerstone was laid in 1995. Technical problems with the architectural design by Peter Zumthor and spiralling costs caused construction to be shelved in March of 2000. The project's directors have been unable to give a date for the center's completion. Now, patience is running out. State Secretary for Media and Culture Christina Weiss told the German television show Monitor that a decision has to be made: Either Berlin starts with the construction again, or it's back to the drawing board. The incoming Social Democratic Party leader for Berlin, Michael Müller, put a finer point on it. "It's intolerable that there's been no progress on the construction site for four years," he told the Berliner Zeitung. The "Topography of Terror" desperately needs a building and it doesn't have to be a Peter Zumthor design, he said.