behind iconic Berlin Wall mural dies aged 62


The man who painted the world-famous Berlin mural, commonly known as ‘The Kiss’, which became a symbol of the end of the Cold War, died Sunday night at the age of 62.

Dmitri Vrubel was born in Moscow and has lived in Berlin since 2010. His most iconic work is graffiti on a remnant of the wall entitled ‘My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love’, depicting a kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, who led the former East Germany. The mural is inspired by a photo of a meeting between the two.

The graffiti was painted in 1990, just months after the Wall came down, and towards the end of the year the reunification of Germany took place.

“For years I lived my private life, while the painting lived its own life”, Vrubel told The Calvert Journal in 2014. “In the early 2000s, people started taking souvenirs from Berlin – magnets, mugs and the like – with the ‘Kiss’ on them, which were now sold not only in the East Side Gallery, but all over the city.”

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The artwork was destroyed in 2009 when the Berlin authorities were carrying out renovation works. This disturbed Vrubel, who subsequently painted a new version of ‘The Kiss’.

His death was announced Monday morning by several Russian journalists.

The artist’s wife, Viktoria Timofeyeva, wrote on social media last month that Vrubel had been hospitalized with complications from Covid-19 and that his health had deteriorated significantly.

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