Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Berlin Wall Sections Find Home

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Berlin Wall Sections Find Home

Article excerpt

The "Kings of Freedom," two murals painted as symbols of western freedom and communist oppression on four sections of the Berlin Wall, have returned to the Kirkpatrick Center for permanent display in Oklahoma City.

Purchased from the East German government early in 1990 by Robert A.

Hefner III, Oklahoma City energy executive and art collector, the sections were on display at the Kirkpatrick Center for six weeks last year before they were moved to Colorado for the 40th anniversary of the Aspen Institute.

They are back here now, on permanent loan to the Kirkpatrick Center, which plans to create a new gallery with the Berlin Wall sections as its centerpiece.

"We are extremely happy to have these pieces," said Debra Boudreau, curator of the Kirkpatrick Galleries. "These may be the only four contiguous pieces of the wall left together. Obviously, these are very important artifacts." For now, the Kings of Freedom are on display in the Kirkpatrick Center's lower west wing. Boudreau said plans call for a fund raising campaign to build a new gallery on the upper level of the Kirkpatrick Center.

Conceptual drawings of the gallery have been completed by Larry Keller of HTB Inc., but cost estimates have not been finalized.

Boudreau said creation of a 900-square-foot gallery would be expected to cost about $75,000.

The gallery would contain imagery of barricades and barbed wire among information and educational displays, photographs and possibly a video presentation, she said. Plans also call for the "west" side to be bright and colorful, like the murals on the west side of the Berlin Wall, and for the "east" side to be dark and threatening.

"The object is to convey the feelings associated with both freedom and oppression," Boudreau said. "We found when we had these pieces here last year that a lot of people have some difficulty understanding what the Berlin Wall represents, because freedom is all they have ever known. …

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