A painting of two kissing men causes mistaking on the Berlin Wall

The preface, "Lord, help me survive this deadly love", makes many people mistake this work about homosexual love.


One of the most famous attractions in the German capital, the Berlin Wall is also known as the East Coast Gallery. From a dividing fence to an outdoor art space, the 1,300-meter-long wall features more than 100 paintings by artists from around the world.
The work depicts a passionate kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (left) and East German leader, Erich Honecker. Photo: Loic Lagarde / Flickr.
In it, the most notable work is a painting by Russian painter, Dmitri Vrubel, with a Russian prologue that means "God, help me survive this deadly love". The preface was translated into English and became the common name of the painting: My God, Help Me To Survive This Deadly Love.

At first glance, many people may think this kiss is just an art fiction. However, Vrubel did not imagine his work, but painted a moment that actually happened.

On October 4, 1979, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev came to East Germany to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Germany. Brezhnev met with many politicians and signed an economic agreement on October 5, 1979. Accordingly, the Soviet Union "will provide East Germany with oil, gas and nuclear equipment until 1990, in exchange for ships, machinery manufacturing tools and chemical equipment," quoted the New York Times edition in 1979.

In a series of activities to celebrate the following two days, French photographer Regis Bossu captured a priceless moment when leaders of the Democratic Republic of Germany, Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev exchanged a kiss. This is considered a gesture of friendship, combining kissing cheek in European culture with the close relationship between socialist countries. This greeting showed the bond between the Democratic Republic of Germany and the Soviet Union.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, part of it became an open-air art exhibition. Murals and graffiti quickly appeared in 1990, in which Dmitri Vrubel decided to recreate the masterpiece of Regis Bossu 11 years after the original image was born. Vrubel stumbled across a picture of "Kiss" in a Paris second-hand shop and used it as his model, according to Stripes.
The picture "Kiss of Friendship" immediately caused a fever and was widely sold. Photo: Regis Bossu.
Vrubel's work made a great deal of success when it was repeatedly photographed and reprinted, many companies also use it as printing material on T-shirts, towels, souvenirs ... Even, the East-Side Hotel in Berlin also took the picture as a logo.

However, this painting also experienced many ups and downs. In 2009, it and many other images were removed from the Berlin Wall. The government explained that this was part of a project to restore this historic building due to weather, pollution and graffiti that destroyed cheap paint paintings, according to the Telegraph. The Russian painter was later allowed to redraw his work. The Berlin government also spends about $ 284,000 a year preserving the site, according to Deutsche Welle.
Photographer Regis Bossu (left) painter Dmitri Vrubel poses for a photo with his brainchild. Photo: Stripes.
The original photo and drawing of a friend's kiss has become an iconic image, opening up new ways of understanding. In 2011, the Unhate Foundation advertising campaign edited a lip-lock image of world leaders confronting each other, to convey the message of turning hatred into love.

The "paired" characters were the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and former US President, Barrack Obama; Palestinian politicians, Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu; the late leader of Korea, Kim Jong-il and former Korean President, Lee Myung-bak. Most prominent is a mural of US President Donald Trump kissing Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who appeared in 2016 in the capital, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Brief information:

The Berlin Wall is part of the German internal border, dividing the capital into two halves. It is one of the most famous symbols of the Cold War and the divided state of Germany.

Today, you can find traces of walls throughout the city of Berlin, from the East Coast Gallery, the Berlin Wall Memorial in Bernauer Strasse, the Berlin-Hohensch├Ânhausen Monument, the Stasi Detention Center, to Mauerpark Park ...

In 2019, Berlin will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall on November 9, according to Visit Berlin. You can explore this attraction for free, but need to book in advance if you want to take a bicycle tour, Cold War tour ...

A painting of two kissing men causes mistaking on the Berlin Wall A painting of two kissing men causes mistaking on the Berlin Wall Reviewed by Duy Khiêm on October 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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