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Watching the Berlin Wall Rise Along Wilshire Blvd

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It’s not often one spots pieces of the Berlin Wall along Wilshire Boulevard, but last night, a crowd of about 30 came out to watch a series of the panels (decorated by Berliners nearly two decades ago) rise on the lawn of 5900 Wilshire Boulevard. The exhibition is part of Culver City-based Wende Museum's commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Wall. The panels came from Berlin via boat--a trip that went through the Panama Canal---and arrived to Wilshire Boulevard via flatbed truck at about 7 pm last night. By 9 pm, three four panels were up. When finished (a total of 10 panels will go up), the exhibition will constitute the largest concentration of Berlin Wall panels outside of Europe.

Given that the panels are already decorated, the Wende Museum plans to continue the art theme: The museum has invited artists Kent Twitchell, Thierry Noir, Marie Astrid Gonzalez, and Farrah Karapetian to add their own touches to the panels, according to Justinian Jampol, president of the Wende Museum. An ongoing process, the artists will start working on the panels this Saturday.

Additionally, Jampol said he is considering letting the public decorate, scribble or paint on the panels. Good lord! People are going to Buket these panels beyond recognition, Jampol! Well, perhaps. Jampol acknowledged that the idea of letting people have a go at the panels is still just in the consideration phase. But he also said the public art component has always been part of this installation.

“It’s always been about being an organic art piece,” he said. "It's ok that these pieces are being re-contextualized in Los Angeles."

Meanwhile, the 11-foot-high panels, which were originally housed on a private property near Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, won’t be blocked off by any ropes at the 5900 Wilshire site.

But there will be security that will oversee the exhibition, according to Jampol. Additionally, we're expecting that Chris Burden's LACMA street lights--located right across the street-- will keep a stern eye on the panels. The project runs through November 14th.

· Bringing Down The Berlin Wall--On Wilshire Boulevard [Curbed LA]
· Wende Museum [Official Site]