Which quotations represent Europe - aphorisms by Theodor Adorno or Hannah Arendt, a line from a Beatles song, or perhaps a quote from the film “Amélie”?

From August to November, the “Disappearing Wall” project will invite visitors to take a closer look at this question at central locations in ten European countries. These interactive installations, curated by the Goethe-Institut, bring Europe's linguistic and intellectual diversity to life in the public sphere - from Belfast to Vilnius, Thessaloniki and Madrid. On 24 August, the “Disappearing Wall” will be launched in Poznan, Poland.

The walls of quotations consist of some 6000 removable wooden blocks marked with snippets from European high or pop culture © Goethe-Institut / Natalia Cheban

The wall exhibitions consist of a Plexiglas frame filled with 6000 removable wooden blocks marked with quotations from European high and pop culture. During local competitions in the spring, the Goethe-Institut chose a varied selection of quotes from tens of thousands of entries submitted by participants throughout Europe. Among them are both contemporary and historical quotations, either translated or in their original language, but none are ever longer than 124 characters.

A seismograph of European diversity

The selection of blocks on display in 17 locations across Europe, represents a broad mosaic of cultural diversity comprised of quotations from poets, thinkers, musicians and movie characters. Once the instalation is unveiled, visitors can take the blocks home with them as an interactive element. Only the transparent Plexiglas grid in which the blocks were once housed will remain– the wall will have disappeared, its thoughts will be set free.

Visitors can take blocks home with them as an interactive element. What then remains is the transparent Plexiglas grid in which the blocks were once housed © Goethe-Institut / Natalia Cheban

The involvement and participation of European citizens is what makes the “Disappearing Wall” a seismograph of Europe's linguistic and intellectual diversity. The installation, mobile in nature, is a symbol for efforts to overcome borders. Such symbolism reflects the aims of the cultural programme of Germany’s Council Presidency, namely the creation of a European public sphere in the image of a changing society.

Participating countries include Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Locations and dates for the “Disappearing Wall” Project:

  • 24 to 27 August: Poznan
  • 30 August to 1 September: Gdańsk
  • 11 September: Thessaloniki
  • 18 September: Segovia (Spain)
  • 18 to 20 September: Warsaw
  • 20 September: Antwerp
  • 25 September: Vilnius
  • 28 September to 19 October: Belfast
  • 2 October: Madrid
  • 1 to 10 October: Turin
  • 3 October: Brussels
  • 10 to 11 October: Nicosia
  • 10 to 24 October: The Hague
  • 24 October to 1 November: Rotterdam
  • 5 to 8 November: Namur (Belgium)
  • 11 to 15 November: Milan
  • 14 November: Barcelona
  • Updated on 9 August. All current dates and locations of the Disappearing Walls can be found on the Goethe-Institute's website.

The “Disappearing Wall” is a project of the Goethe-Institut, supported by special funding from the Federal Foreign Office for Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2020.

Further information about the cultural programme of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union:

All information about the Goethe-Institut’s EU 2020 projects: