In Berlin, a street art gallery designed to be destroyed

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BERLIN, April 7, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – It may seem an unlikely venue for an
art gallery — an old bank building in the centre of a busy shopping district and about to be torn down.

But in Berlin, arguably Europe’s urban art capital, some 165 like-minded street artists have filled the five-storey space with their work.

And the result is a burst of colour and myriad of styles, with murals
and installations covering 10,000 square metres (108,000 feet), all on public view at no charge — but only until the demolition crew moves in.

“We’re open here for two months, then everything will disappear for all eternity,” said Joern Reiners of Die Dixons (The Dixons), the group behind the project called The Haus (The House).

It approached property developers Pandion for temporary use of the block before it makes way for luxury condominiums, and got the keys last October.

“There was so little time, we didn’t have any big plans, we just got our telephones out and rang everyone we know,” said Timo von Rekowski, another Dixons member.

Artists from 17 countries joined the project, with Berlin-based ones
making up the majority.

Each was assigned a space — be it an office, the corridor, stairwell or even the toilet.

– ‘Make it an experience’ –

The gallery that sprung up includes a room covered from floor to ceiling with personal ads usually seen pasted on Berlin lampposts or walls, another room with a huge pair of clay legs like a giant just landed through the ceiling, and a darkened room with wall murals that are only revealed with the help of a torch.

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