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German lawmakers halt plan to build reunification memorial

/ 04:34 PM April 14, 2016
A worker removes graffiti from a painting behind a temporary fence on the East Side Gallery, a much-visited stretch of the Berlin wall, in Berlin on November 5, 2015. The city of Berlin has decided to erect a 80cm high permanent barrier to discourage people from defacing the works made by artists who decorated the yet untouched east side with artwork and political statements after the wall was taken down in 1989-1990. Though designated as a historical landmark, the paintings have yet again been covered in grafitti.   AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL

A worker removes graffiti from a painting behind a temporary fence on the East Side Gallery, a much-visited stretch of the Berlin Wall, on Nov. 5, 2015. AFP

BERLIN—German lawmakers have halted a project to build a monument in Berlin celebrating the country’s reunification, a plan that has been dogged by rising costs and other problems.

Parliamentary budget committee member Ruediger Kruse told news agency dpa the panel voted unanimously Wednesday to halt the project. He said that “it is time to pull the plug.”

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Lawmakers approved the project in 2007. Five years ago, officials chose a design shaped like an upturned scale which visitors could have climbed on.

Estimated costs rose from 10 to 15 million euros ($11.3 million to $17 million) and construction never started, with problems including the discovery of a colony of rare bats.

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East and West Germany were united on Oct. 3, 1990, less than a year after the Berlin Wall fell.

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TAGS: Berlin Wall, Germany, memorial, reunification
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