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Section of the Berlin Wall finds new home in Brussels

Berlin Wall section, Elia, Brussels
13:34 11/09/2020

A piece of history was given a new home this week when a section of the Berlin Wall was unveiled in Brussels at the site of high-voltage transmission grid operator Elia, on Quai Léon Monnoyer near the Docks Bruxsel shopping centre in Schaerbeek.

The Belgian company bought the 3.6-metre high section of the infamous wall at the start of the year at the Brussels art and antiques fair Brafa in a charity auction for the benefit of the Flemish cancer charity Kom op tegen Kanker. The charity was also presented with a cheque for €55,000 at the unveiling ceremony.

“By acquiring this piece of the Wall, we are taking a small piece of Berlin to Brussels. It symbolises the special bond we have with the German capital through our partnership with 50Hertz,” said Chris Peeters, managing director of Elia.

50Hertz is a German system operator in which the Belgian company has a majority stake. “Whereas the Wall was a symbol of separation, it is now a symbol for us of unity, working together and looking to the future,” said Peeters.

“You can’t imagine what this means for us,” said Marc Michils, the managing director of Kom op tegen Kanker, when he received the cheque. He also referred to the symbolism of the demolished Wall. “Kom op tegen Kanker is synonymous with building bridges,” he said.

In total, five pieces of the wall were sold, raising €326,000 for charities. In addition to the segment that is now in Brussels, two pieces were installed in Ostend, one in Rotterdam and one in Dublin.

Written by Nick Amies