disappearing walls with quotes, Source: EU 2020 Disappearing wall by Natalia Cheban

“Disappearing walls” spring up around Europe

“Disappearing walls” spring up around Europe

They can be seen in 10 countries

Disappearing walls with hidden messages have taken over public spaces in 17 EU cities. The interactive installations are placed by Goethe-Institut on the occasion of the German EU Council Presidency. Everyone who sees one of them can take home a part of the wall and thus bringing with them a piece of European culture and history.

Taking down walls together

On around 6,000 wooden blocks, the disappearing walls carry quotes from famous representatives of European culture and put on display the diversity of Europe in the form of sensual experience for visitors. The first installation was placed on August 24th in Poznan (Poland) and a couple of days later was followed by another one in Gdansk. Installations in 9 other countries will appear before November 2020.

The list of quotes is more than varied – from philosophy to movie quotes to parts of famous speeches. The selections were made through local competitions initiated by the Goethe Institute and are engraved on around 6,000 wooden blocks in the original language and in translation.

The idea of the installations, which are an integral part of the culture programme of EU 2020, goes beyond literature. It is meant to symbolically overcome borders as after the unveiling of the installation, every visitor has the opportunity to take blocks of quotations with them.

Disappearing wall EU 2020

Little by little visitors make the walls disappear and leave a transparent Plexiglas grille in which they were located. Photo by Natalia Cheban

After having been put on display in two Polish cities, the installations will spring up in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain / Northern Ireland, Poland, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. Here is the list of dates and locations where the "Disappearing Walls" could be seen this autumn (subject to change):

  • August 24-27: Poznan, Poland
  • August 30th - September 1st: Gdansk, Poland
  • September 18: Segovia, Spain
  • September 18-20: Warsaw, Poland
  • September 20: Antwerp, Belgium
  • September 25: Vilnius, Lithuania
  • September 28th - October 19th: Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  • October 2nd: Madrid, Spain
  • October 1-10: Turin, Italy
  • October 3: Brussels, Belgium
  • October 10-11: Nicosia, Cyprus
  • October 10-21: The Hague, Netherlands
  • October 24th-1st November: Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • November 5-8: Namur, Belgium
  • November 11-15: Milan, Italy
  • November 14th: Barcelona, Spain

The installation was born as the idea of Maria Jablonina during a workshop carried out by the architect and engineer Werner Sobek and was turned into a reality by the Goethe Institut. The “Disappearing Wall” is one of several projects that the institution is carrying out on the occasion of the German EU Council Presidency and as part of the German government's cultural program in Europe.

With different themes and target groups, the projects address the overarching question of what will Europe make of its future and how the European community and cohesion can be strengthened.



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