How a slab of the Berlin Wall ended up in a Sydney garden

Sydney (dpa) – A graffiti-covered three-tonne slab of the Berlin Wall that lay forgotten in a Sydney warehouse for 17 years is being officially unveiled Saturday in a garden in front of the Goethe Institute, the German language and cultural centre.

The heavily scarred three-metre-tall concrete slab bears the graffiti “Jeder hat Kraft” – Everyone is Powerful – a poignant reminder that what was once a symbol of oppression is now a reminder of freedom.

Director of the Goethe Institute in Sydney, Sonja Greigoschewski, told dpa that it was only by a series of fortunate events that the slab of the Wall found its way to the garden.

“A Sydney man, Peter Kubiak, shipped the slab of the wall from Berlin to Sydney in the 1990s,” she explained.

“We don’t know why he did it, but he came originally from Germany and perhaps he wanted it as a momento of the fall of the wall in 1989.

“He put it in a warehouse and there it stayed. Mr Kukiak died in 2013, and the slab was forgotten. His family didn’t know where it was.

“The warehouse owner didn’t know what to do with it. He offered it to museums and we heard about it, and said we would take it.

“He said fine but you have to come and pick it up. We got permission to move it 40 kilometres across Sydney to erect in this lovely garden in front of the Goethe Institute.”

The wall slab will be opened Saturday in front of dozens of officials to mark 30 years since the Wall came down.

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