With many objections, the authorities in the Berlin district of Mitte want to prohibit the temporary exhibition of a wrecked tank in front of the Russian embassy. But a Berlin court wipes the concerns from the table without exception.

A shot-up Russian tank may be erected as a temporary memorial opposite the Russian embassy in Berlin. That was the decision of the Berlin Administrative Court, thus obliging the Mitte district to approve the planned campaign by an association. It is unlikely that the wrecked tank could be set up directly in front of the embassy on the Unter den Linden boulevard because the middle promenade there was not designed for a load of 40 tons. The court found that it was possible across the street on a blocked section of Schadowstrasse.

The district had argued that “people probably died” in the wreck, so the display was not appropriate. In addition, it affects Germany’s foreign policy interests, which is why talks with the Senate and the state government are essential. Besides, it’s not art. Furthermore, traffic is obstructed and people are mentally stressed.

The court ruled that it was irrelevant whether it was art, it was about permissible freedom of expression. Vehicle traffic is not affected, the line-up for two weeks is unproblematic, reasons of piety and foreign policy interests are irrelevant.

The initiators of the exhibition in Berlin, Enno Lenze and Wieland Giebel from the Museum Berlin Story Bunker, submitted an application for the project on behalf of their association Historiale at the end of June. The district office responsible for public road land had rejected him.

The Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnyk then told the “Tagesspiegel”: “Russia’s destroyed military equipment, which would be exhibited in the heart of Berlin, should give the people in Germany a first-hand feeling of the brutal war of annihilation.” The embassy supports the project with all its might. An appeal against the decision can be lodged with the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court.

A few weeks ago, the government in Kyiv recreated a military parade and exhibited dozens of destroyed tanks and other Russian military technology in public spaces.