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College Republican's Berlin Wall display stolen

Culprit remains unknown

Unlike the original Berlin Wall, which fell to great public spectacle in 1989, a replica made by UNC College Republicans quietly disappeared Tuesday morning on the 21st anniversary of the wall’s fall.

The group planned to tear down the mock wall as part of the Young America’s Foundation Freedom Week and has reported the theft to campus police.

The cardboard and wood structure, which cost $60 to make, stood 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide and was placed in Ram’s Head Plaza at 8 p.m. Monday.

“That’s definitely a day our ideals as a nation overcame the Soviet Empire,” said Anthony Dent, chairman of the College Republicans.

“That’s the day we won the Cold War and it’s one of our great victories and legacies as a nation in contributing to world order.”

But sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday, the wall went missing.

“That’s just kind of sad,” Dent said. “After a while, you kind of get used to putting up with that kind of behavior, but the Berlin Wall falling should be one of the most apolitical events in world history.”

As of Tuesday night, there were no leads as to the wall’s location.

“I have no idea who would have taken it,” said Marc Seelinger, executive vice-chairman of the College Republicans. “No one has said anything to me, and I have not been able to find anything that would indicate that a particular group has done this.”

There was a ceremony planned for tearing down the wall Tuesday night, complete with a sledgehammer and quotes from former president Ronald Reagan’s famous “Tear Down this Wall” speech.

“It’s a reminder of the failures that are brought about by central planning and attempts by the state to direct the economy and micromanage citizen’s lives,” Seelinger said.

“So while we don’t have a visible boogeyman like the Soviet Union, it’s important to remind students that capability for such evil exists and is still capable of existing. This would bring awareness to the evils of socialism.”

He said the alleged theft brings up issues of censorship at UNC.

“In a lot of ways I’m viewing it as free speech issue, where there is a contingent on campus that doesn’t want us to express our views in this manner. I kind of thought we were past this, but disappointed that we are not.”

Contact the University Editor at udesk@unc.edu.

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