March 10, 2014
Nearly 25 years ago, the Berlin Wall came down, ending a years-long conflict over communism in the German capital.
Now, portions of the wall will be on display at the University of Virginia to mark the anniversary of its collapse.
Crews spent part of the day Monday installing four original panels of the Berlin Wall outside Alderman Library on McCormick Road. The panels, each of which weigh more than three tons, are on loan from art collector Robert Hefner.
Once the panels are in place, crews will install a glass enclosure. After a private ceremony on April 11, the display will be open to the public for at least two years.
The Berlin Wall came down on Nov. 9, 1989, and the University of Virginia plans to hold events marking the significance of that event as the anniversary approaches. The timing also coincides with the Virginia Film Festival, which will also hold events related to the anniversary.
"Within a 60-second walk of one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, you have this incredible, dramatic event celebrating freedom as we approach the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall," said Jody Kilebasa, UVa's vice provost for the arts and director of the Virginia Film Festival.
The graffiti on the wall, which faced the West German side, were painted by artist Dennis Kaun just two days before the wall came down.