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Performers banned from Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie
Posted on 14/11/2019

CultureGermany

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One of Berlin's most iconic Cold War spectacles has long-since been a hotbed of tourist traps and tasteless consumerism. Now, the local authorities are saying enough is enough.

Checkpoint Charlie is an iconic historical site turned tourist destination formerly home to the Berlin Wall's most well-known border crossing.

This week, Actors posing as American GIs have come under fire as undercover police pretended to be willing tourists only to discover an extortionate hustle organised by a group called ?Dance Factory'.



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Anamaria Mejia/123RF

The surrounding area is littered with overpriced fast-food outlets and tacky souvenir shops appealing to the site's infamy amongst holidaymakers. Popular, films such as Bridge of Spies and James Bond: Octopussy have made the spot a longstanding cultural symbol way surpassing any of the other former checkpoints.

The police claimed that a team of 10 actors have been charging unsuspecting tourists ?4 per photo which is amounting to a whopping ?5000 profit each day during peak times.



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Kate O'Malley/123RF

Mitte district's public order office has given the 'Dance Factory' theatre group warning that their 'business' by the former checkpoint is illegal without the necessary permit.

The acting agency has responded by saying that the prices mentioned are only 'voluntary donations'. The group plans to fight the ban and stating they will have no choice but to fire the performers in question if unsuccessful.



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Francis Dean/123RF

According to locals, actors running similar performances have been a core feature of the site's tourism for the last 17 years capitalising off the foreign obsession with Checkpoint Charlie.

The past few weeks have seen extensive celebrations to mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A heightened interest in the site brought about by the anniversary has led Berlin residents and historians alike to hope for a more tasteful and historical style of recognition to the iconic cold-war site.