Germany is marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall with light installation
Brighter times ahead
From 1961 to 1989, the city of Berlin was divided by the most visible sign of the Cold War: A all that stretched more than 87 miles long. It was a menacing concept, to say the least. The Berlin Wall consisted of inner and outer concrete walls separated by a "death strip" lined with fences, trenches, searchlights and anti-tank fortifications, with searchlights and guard towers positioned along the route. The barrier was guarded by troops authorised to shoot anyone who tried to escape.
On 9 November 1989, East German authorities announced they would allow free access between east and west Berlin, and crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed on to the wall, leading to a reunited Germany.
And now, Berlin is marking the 25 years of the fall of the wall by semi-rebuilding it – but with glowing white balloons, a cool light installation to mark the anniversary. Approximately 8,000 illuminated helium balloons will trace a 15km-long section of the wall, snaking around the city, for just one weekend over November 7-9.
Called Lichtgrenze (Light Border) by artist Christopher Bauder, the installation will also feature huge video screens displaying historical footage of what the city looked like when the wall was up – which have been put together by Bauder's brother, Marc.
The installation will come to an end on the evening of November 9, when volunteers will release the balloons and set them free, soaring into the night sky to Beethoven's 9th Symphony, played by the European Youth Orchestra. The balloons are made out of a biodegradable material as to not harm the environment, and the organisers say that weather cooperating, the light installation will even be visible from outer space.