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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Berlin Wall section goes missing
Berlin Wall
Demolition of the Berlin Wall began in 1989
An 18-metre (55-foot) remnant of the Berlin Wall has disappeared from the centre of the German capital.

Erich Stanke, a businessman who bought the section in 1990, said it disappeared suddenly on Friday.

The section stood at Potsdamer Platz, where a new environment ministry building is under construction.

It was one of the last standing sections of the wall, built by the former communist East Germany. It divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.

Mr Stanke, who fought in the courts to have the section preserved, was outraged.

"People were shot dead there. And now this piece of world heritage has been simply torn down. It's shameful!" Mr Stanke told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

He had bought the section of wall from an East German border guard in the summer of 1990, shortly before German reunification on 3 October 1990.

A spokesman for the Federal Civil Engineering and Planning Office said the missing section would be incorporated into the new environment ministry building and would be visible upon completion of the project.

Like much of the old wall, it has murals and graffiti on its Western side.

Nearly 200 people who were trying to flee East Germany were shot and killed by East German border guards at the wall.


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