Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Berlin Wall Sections Arrive for Kirkpatrick Center Display

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Berlin Wall Sections Arrive for Kirkpatrick Center Display

Article excerpt

Robert Hefner III's young grandson watched Wednesday, wide-eyed as a 5,400-pound section of the Berlin Wall was lifted by a crane from a flatbed truck at the Kirkpatrick Center.

The giant piece of the Iron Curtain was painted with the image of a blindfolded king.

"Grandpa, why doesn't he have any eyes?" the boy asked.

"That's a very good question," Hefner said. "It's because he could not see the needs of his people."

Hefner, founder and chairman of the GHK Co. and a noted collector of contemporary art, will display his latest acquisition, "Kings of Freedom," at the Kirkpatrick Center April 27 through June 11. The display will then be moved to Aspen, Colo., where Hefner has a summer home, for the 40th anniversary of the Aspen Institute.

Hefner said the pieces of the wall "will travel some," but the site for their permanent home has not been determined.

Painted by West German artist Dennis Kaun, murals depicting the faces of two kings cover four sections of the wall. One is a jester king with a wide-lipped grin. The other, labeled "east," is frowning, and blindfolded.

"We would like to commend you, Mr. Hefner, for bringing these pieces to America," said John E. Kirkpatrick, founder of the museum complex at 2100 NE 52nd Ave. "We would like for them to have a permanent home here in the middle of America."

Hefner said: "I look forward to discussing that with you."

This spring, the Kings of Freedom will be on display in the lower west gallery at the Kirkpatrick Center, and visitors will be able to see them at no extra charge.

"I am happy the Kirkpatrick Center is able to provide a place for the pieces of the wall to begin their life in America," Hefner said. "We think we have the best that there is. Most of the significant pieces of Berlin Wall art were lost by souvenir hunters who attacked the wall and chipped it all away."

Rick Bickford, public relations and marketing coordinator for the Kirkpatrick Center, said he believes chances are good that the Kings of Freedom will return to Oklahoma City to stay. …

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