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German embassy gate mural unveiled

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German Ambassador to Cambodia Christian Berger and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn unveil a mural on Thursday on the embassy’s gate to commemorate the 30th anniversary of fall of the Berlin Wall. HEAN RANGSEY

German embassy gate mural unveiled

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn and German Ambassador to Cambodia Christian Berger on Thursday unveiled Phnom Penh’s first street mural on the embassy’s gate to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.

German artist Danilo Halle and Cambodian artist Hour Soben had worked together to create a unique mural on the German embassy’s gate, the embassy said on Thursday.

“The mural emphasises Cambodian-German friendship and collaboration,” it said.

“Each side of the gate has been designed with nine columns from left to right and 11 columns from top to bottom to signify November 9, 1989. It is a very important date for both Cambodia and Germany. The mural’s blocks symbolise the bricks of a wall.

Berger said at the 30th-anniversary event in front of the embassy gate that two artists from Cambodia and Germany had successfully tried to project the mural of late 1989 into the present day of German-Cambodia contexts.

It is a mural characterised by the Cambodian-German relationship, one that will go forward and evolve.

“Let us work together towards a better future for our peoples. Thirty years ago, in 1987, during the division of Germany, I devoted two years of my life in the army to defend the freedom of West Germany, and for me what started to evolve in the middle of 1980s was unbelievable,” Berger said at the event.

Sokhonn, who is also deputy prime minister, said at the event that Cambodia and Germany shared similar talk in the national reconciliation process.

The unification of Germany and that of Cambodia were first of all only because of the war of its people.

“Because of that, our two countries understand each other so well. I am so pleased to see that the German embassy organises artworks that bring together young and talented artists from both countries like Soben and Halle.

“I hope to see more art events like this which, in my view, will inspire all of us to seek better understanding, dialogue and trust between the people and the governments of the two nations,” Sokhonn said.

Halle’s street art project Freiraumgalerie started as a kitchen meeting in the German city of Halle and has developed into a professional collective for urban development, an embassy press release said.

Ever since, its work has involved public art, urban planning, participation and urban education. Freiraumgalerie combines knowledge of different disciplines – urban planning, education, culture, media studies and ethnology.

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