The planned monument in Berlin, dubbed a ‘seesaw’ because of its shape and rocking motion, has seen its own ups and downs over the past ten years.
The idea was to build a basin-shaped monument designed as a movable scale that would shift its weight when visitors stand in different places.
The decision to build a memorial honouring the country’s 1990 reunification after the Cold War was made in 2007. But from the beginning the project faced obstacles, including that the remains of a former monument to Kaiser Wilhelm were dicovered at the slated site, and a colony of rare bats had also taken up occupancy there.
In April last year, a budget committee of the Bundestag withdrew its support for the monument because of an increase in estimated costs of up to 15 million euros.
But then this week, Bundestag representatives made a surprising announcement. “I think that 27 years after German Reunification, we can show with such a monument that people can fight for democracy and defend democracy,” said Thomas Oppermann (SPD). “The freedom and unity monument in Berlin will come forth as the German Bundestag in 2007 and 2008 decided,” said conservative Union party spokespeople on Tuesday.
Its cornerstone was to be laid in 2016 at the Schlossplatz, between the River Spree and Berlin's City Palace.
isi/at (www.thelocal.de,dpa, afp kna)