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How Berlin Marked Its Former Wall With 8,000 Glowing Balloons

Stretching 96 miles, the Berlin Wall divided East and West Berlin for nearly 30 years, until 1989. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the momentous day that this fraught symbol of the Cold War finally fell, Berlin-based lighting designer Christopher Bauder created an ambitious installation of 8,000 glowing white balloons that were pegged to the ground along a nine-mile stretch of the hated barrier.

Called the Border of Light, the temporary artwork made a central section of the demarcation line visible once again, and served as a reminder of the joyous night a quarter-century ago when East Germans were first allowed to cross over the border to West Berlin without being fired upon. Yesterday night, thousands of illuminated balloons were released into the sky over Berlin, as Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" was played through loudspeakers. Volunteers had attached personal messages to many of the biodegradable helium balloons.

"The wall was heavy, was big, was dark," the artist Mr. Bauder told The New York Times. "We wanted to contrast it with something ephemeral, light and potentially beautiful." More photos, below:

Photos by Perri Brierley-Bowers

· Christopher Bauder [Official site]
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