A bit of the Berlin Wall has popped up outside the Imperial War Museum here in London.
Cold War relic, war museum – makes sense, I guess. (writes Patrick Jackson from the World Today ). There is a cartoon on it, a big face shouting “Change your life”.
Did you know that last month the mayor of Berlin gave Usain Bolt a chunk of the wall after the World Championships?
Three tons of reinforced concrete for the fastest man on Earth. That’s some heavy symbolism. Breakthroughs, life-changing events, achievements.
My colleagues and I are playing with ideas about how to mark the 20th anniversary of the wall coming down.
Unlike some of the others, I don’t have any fragment of the wall to ponder myself. On 9 November 1989 I was living incommunicado with some Soviet students in Moscow, fairly oblivious to the outside world.
We had no TV set and hardly ever bought the “newspapers”. It was the falling of the early snows, not the wall, that registered.
As somebody who could have been on the Moon for all it mattered, it’s doubly interesting for me to hear how the event affected people, and not just Germans. I imagine there is some strong magic in the bits of concrete people keep as souvenirs.
Though maybe not in the bits they use to decorate one Las Vegas urinal.
How many of you keep a piece of the wall? Does it evoke a heady time of peace and possibilities?
After two decades of “hot” wars and the bursting of the credit bubble, how are the touchstones of people’s hopes looking now?