The section of the Berlin Wall directly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels is a symbol of the reunited Europe. The 3.6 metre high, 3 tonne concrete slab bears an image of former US President John F. Kennedy. The monument was officially unveiled in front of the Berlaymont building in 2015 to mark the 25th anniversary of German reunification.
Germany presented four sections of the Berlin Wall to the Council of Europe which works to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The French artist Thierry Noir painted the concrete slabs with his iconic figures. The monument has stood in front of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg since 1997.
Since 2014, a section of the Berlin Wall has stood in front of the Museum of Occupations and Freedom in the Estonian capital. This part of the wall originally stood at the Potsdamer Platz. When the monument was unveiled in Tallinn to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Estonian State Secretary Heiki Loot said the wall could be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, it symbolises the atrocities of inhuman dictatorships and secondly the joy of liberation.
Since the 25th anniversary of German reunification in 2015, a section of the Berlin Wall has stood in Reykjavik in front of the Höfði Haus. The Icelandic government’s guest house is in a highly symbolic location. It was here that the US President Ronald Reagan first met the President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 at the Reykjavik Summit. This meeting is also seen as one of the first steps towards ending the Cold War.
New York, United States
The Berlin Wall can also be found in many places outside Europe. Three sections that originally stood on Berlin’s Leipziger Platz can today be found in the garden of the United Nations in New York. In 2002, the then Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse presented them to Kofi Annan, then UN Secretary-General. At the celebrations to mark the presentation, Kofi Annan stressed that the fall of the Berlin Wall helped liberate the entire international community.
Seoul, South Korea
In 2005, the South Korean capital Seoul opened its Berlin Square. Alongside the three sections of the Berlin Wall, and the bear that is so symbolic of Berlin, there are also original Berlin benches and trees and even a street lamp. Like Berlin during the Cold War, Korea’s history is one of division. The monument is intended to express the hope that one day South and North Korea can be reunited.