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Berlin Dispute Erupts Over Marx, Engels Memorial in City Center

Marx and Engels belong in the center of Berlin, the city’s top culture official, Andre Schmitz, said in a statement, rejecting a proposal by Construction Minister Peter Ramsauer to banish the monument to the outskirts.

The bronze memorial to the pioneers of Communism was erected in 1986 by the East German regime. It is located in a park near where Berlin’s royal palace once stood, on Unter den Linden, the main central boulevard.

The palace, once home to Prussia’s rulers, is to be rebuilt from 2013 with government funding more than 60 years after the communist regime demolished it. Ramsauer said the rebuilding of the palace is a chance to restore Berlin’s historic core and suggested shunting the memorial to the gardens of Friedrichsfelde palace on the edge of the city in an interview with the Morgenpost newspaper.

“History cannot be disposed of just like that,” Culture Secretary Schmitz, a member of the Social Democratic Party, said in a statement sent by e-mail today. Ramsauer is a member of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

“As witness to a very particular era in Berlin’s history, the Marx-Engels monument deserves a worthy place,” Schmitz said in the statement.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) was the author of “Das Kapital.” Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) published volumes two and three after Marx’s death.

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