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Arts

The fall of Berlin's Palace of the Republic

The Palace of the Republic in Berlin was regarded as a powerful symbol by the East German government and yet 10 years ago, it was decided that the Erich Honecker's ostentatious display had to go.

A long, drawn-out story came to an end 10 years ago, when on January 19, 2006, the German parliament, the Bundestag, rejected all proposals aimed at retaining the Palace of the Republic. Just a week later, the cranes rolled in and demolition began on the landmark building of former East Germany.

The decision followed on one that the Bundestag had already made for the first time in 2002, when they approved the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace - as the palace had formerly been known - in place of the communist monstrosity. Not everything has gone as planned, however, with the discovery that nearly 5,000 tons of highly toxic asbestos had contaminated the Palace of the Republic.

It wasn't until 2008 that the East German monument finally met its end. In its place today is the reconstructed Berlin City Palace, home to the

Humboldt Forum

.

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