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News Link • History

8,000 Glowing Balloons Recreate the Berlin Wall

•, By Liz Stinson

This was after almost three decades of the concrete barricade cutting through the heart of Berlin and splitting the city in two. Today, Berlin is once again divided, this time by an 11-foot-tall wall of illuminated balloons.

The Lichtgrenze (translation: "border of light") will stretch for 10 miles along the same path as the original 96-mile structure. The 8,000 balloons will begin at Bornholmer Street border crossing, one of the former checkpoints between East and West Germany, and snake their way through Berlin's city center to the Oberbaum Bridge, blocking roads along the way and cutting off car access just like the Berlin Wall did decades ago.

Light artist Christopher Bauder and his filmmaker brother Marc began working on the concept for Lichtgrenze seven years ago, before the 20th anniversary of the wall coming down. But as you might imagine, building the equipment necessary to hoist and illuminate 8,000 balloons—not to mention getting approval to install them throughout a major metropolis—takes some time and bureaucratic elbow grease. The duo just couldn't get it done in time.

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