|The "permanent" exhibition of segments of the Berlin Wall|
The 5m long section of the Berlin wall, comprising slabs 251-254, was supposed to be on indefinite loan from American art lover and oil industry veteran Robert A. Hefner III, 78, and his Singapore-born wife Mei Li. On that understanding, presumably conveyed to the National Parks Board (NParks) by their good friend and former Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo, $2 million was spent to construct a 1400 sq m custom built glass, steel and concrete facility at the eastern bank of Bedok Reservoir Park.
After all the fanfare of the unveiling in January 2010, the Hefners now plan to move the concrete slabs back to the United States by the end of this year, to display at one of their many properties.
George Yeo himself has moved to Hong Kong to work for his new paymasters in Kerry Logistics Network. It is not known if the logistics company has been engaged for the shipment back to its original home in Oklahoma City. Also not known is whether the decision is related to a quid pro quo for the loss in Aljunied.
Then again German graffiti artist Dennis Kaun may have been scared off by the local laws about defacing wall structures. The four panels of the original drab concrete Berlin Wall are spray painted, depicting a colourful, joyful king representing West Germany (good guy) and a pale, blindfolded one who is oblivious to the wishes of his people, signifying East Germany (bad guy). Depending on the flow of politics, some thin skinned party may sue for defamation in the unforeseeable future.
NParks is on the look out for objects of interest to fill the enclosure. Now that Brompton Bikes has opened office in Singapore, they may be interested to exhibit their product range there. But then again, NParks may not wish to be reminded of that object of interest.