Monday, March 7, 2011

Have You Seen The Freedom Center Berlin Wall Monument?

Last summer is such a blur. With the ending of the school year, our kids happily retook command of our home and attention. This is my only excuse for not being aware of this permanent installation of a section of the Berlin Wall on the southwest lawn of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The fact the sites surrounding the NURFC seem to be under perpetual construction may have also contributed to my not noticing it.

This section of the Berlin Wall, a gift of the City of Berlin, honors those, past and present, who have died seeking freedom without walls. The wall was installed on June 23, 2010 and dedicated on July 3, 2010 at the Freedom Without Walls Dedication Celebration.

The dedication plaque reads:

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center stands as a beacon in the world, inspiring courage, cooperation, and perseverance in all global citizens. The City of Cincinnati and the Munich Sister Cities Association in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the relationship between Munich and Cincinnati, worked with the Freedom Center to commemorate the past while committing to a future where freedom is a basic right. Through the 2010 installation of Cincinnati's segment of the Berlin Wall, we bear witness to this symbol of the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

Berlin Wall Partnership:
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Munich Sister City Association
City of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory
Cincinnati USA Sister City Association
Berlin Regierender Bürgermeister Klaus Wowereit
Munich Oberbürgermeister Christian Ude
Honorary Consul of Germany Richard E. Schade

Cincinnati needs more public sculpture and opportunities like this to make note of monuments to our history. Next time you are downtown be sure to stop and notice this historical marker of freedom.


Ray Miller said...

You are right on the money. Cincinnati has a sparse collection of public art, which has actually been dwindling for several years. The George Sugarman piece, Cincinnati Story was removed from the Chiquita Center and now lives in Pyramid Hill, the Clement Meadmor that lived at 7th and Vine now lives in front of St. Xavier, the monumental piece Helios Guardians which resided at the zoo now has a great location in a park in Hamilton, and on and on. Laure Quinlivan has the right idea to focus a tiny percentage of proceeds from the casino for public art.

Me said...

Thanks for your comment Ray. I learned from someone just yesterday that Philadelphia has a 1% rule...1% of ALL new development's cost must go towards public art.

I'm not sure I understand why those who are pushing making art accessible to all (ArtsWave and the CAC) are not working to implement this rule.

Perhaps I should figure out a way to lobby for this.