BERLIN - For historians, or anyone with a good deal of space to fill, a German entrepreneur has a proposal: He’ll sell you the Berlin Wall, or at least a huge chunk of it.
For 7,000 euros (about 33,000 shekels, or $8,700) you can buy an ugly hunk of concrete with a history, about 3.6 meters high and 1.2 meters wide (about 12 feet by 4 feet).
The offer is on the Internet site of the tourist store Berlin Story. Under the product description you’ll see that the wall pieces are in “good condition” but, well, “used.”
Shipping - the big piece weighs three tons - is extra.
If you’re interested in a piece of history but for a smaller outlay, bits of the Berlin Wall are on sale on eBay at prices starting at less than $2.
The stones from the wall on sale on the Berlin Story website were located recently and “completely by chance,” claims the seller, Wieland Giebel. He’s a researcher of the barrier, which split Berlin in two for 28 years, and a lover of the local history.
He says he discovered the sections of the wall on a bicycle trip he made in Berlin. He declines to say where the wall sections he is selling are located. But after the wall was torn down, the concrete chunks were moved from their original location to a garage about a kilometer and a half (1 mile) from there. They were being used as a fence.
A few months ago Giebel realized that the blocks he found may be ugly, but they were also valuable. He hopes to transform the concrete into gold, or at least into some cash. The first buyer has already been found: the privately owned International Spy Museum in Washington.
The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. Twenty-five years later the muses of history are smiling at the united Germans. A quarter-century ago they broke up the wall with hammers and knocked it down with their own hands. Now they are looking for its pieces and are selling them as a small piece of history.
Last year, a few thousand Germans even gathered to protest the demolition of a section of the wall next to the East Side Gallery - the longest remaining remnant of the wall - which private contractors removed to build luxury apartments.
The fall of the wall hastened the reunification of Germany and symbolized the collapse of the communist regime. Today the wall is an in-demand capitalist consumer good. “Where can I see the Wall?” is one of the questions tourists in Germany always ask.
Parts of the original wall, which was about 160 kilometers (100 miles) long, remain in place at a number of locations in Berlin. But capitalism has prevailed: Whoever pays more gets more.
At the entrance to the prestigious Westin Grand Hotel on the Friedrichstrasse are original stones from the wall - to be enjoyed by the hotel’s guests, who pay some 400 euros ($500) a night for a double room.
But why go see the wall in its original location if you can bring it home with you?