Berlin Wall Remnants Go Under the Hammer at Auction in U.K.

(Bloomberg) -- Sections of the wall that once split the heart of Berlin could fetch as much as 100,000 pounds ($130,000) this week in the U.K., three decades after East Germans first tasted freedom.

Two sections of the wall, the larger of which stands 15 feet wide and weighs 15 tons, are on offer at an auction Tuesday afternoon in Billingshurst, England, according to Summers Place Auctions, who will conduct the sale.

Berlin Wall Remnants Go Under the Hammer at Auction in U.K.

This wall has “a lot of resonances” with present day topics such as President Donald Trump’s proposed border division between the U.S. and Mexico, James Rylands, director of the auction house, said by phone. The timing of the sale close to Britain’s divorce from the European Union was “was not entirely uncoincidental,” he said.

Sections of the once-infamous 87 mile-long wall can be found in places as far away as Montreal and Seoul, but they are few in number, with only 16 portions known to be in public view worldwide outside Berlin, according to the auction house. One slab stands outside London’s Imperial War Museum, while a fragment also stands in Schengen, where the agreement abolishing some of Europe’s borders was signed.

‘Modest’ Price

The sections to be auctioned formed part of the Parliament of Trees monument in Berlin opposite the Reichstag, but were removed to make room for additional construction. While the sale could fetch up to 100,000 pounds, the portions have a more “modest,” combined guide price of 26,000 pounds Rylands said.

Both parts bear messages by artist Ben Wagin. The first quotes Richard von Weizsacker, who served as the first president of a reunited Germany from 1990 through 1994. It reads: “To unite means to learn to share.”

Rylands said the larger of the two lots, being sold by an unidentified party, could be purchased for a private home, but hoped it would remain in public view.

“It’s something that could go indoors or outdoors, and it would look amazing in the big atrium of a big building, where because of its size, 12 foot high, it would have a real presence,” Rylands said.

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