Berlin: Bats prevent start of construction on the unitary monument

Wednesday, 06.11.2019

This year, it will probably be nothing more with the start of construction for the Statue of Liberty and Unity in Berlin – and that is due to the residents and under the future construction site. To protect the bats that live in the base of the former Kaiser Wilhelm monument at the Humboldt Forum, the Environment Administration on Wednesday rejected a waiver for the immediate start of the work of the "Einheitswippe".


The nature conservation federation Germany (Nabu) had sued against the exception permission. Because the lawsuit has a suspensive effect, no building permit must first be granted, said a spokesman for the Environmental Administration on Wednesday.

Since the bats now go into hibernation, according to Nabu a start of construction before May 2020 is not possible. Otherwise the result would be disruption or killing of the strictly protected animals.


DPA / Wolfgang Buchhorn
Gunned Water Bat (Stock Image)

  At the beginning of October, the Department of the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection had granted a special permit for the start of construction work. At the same time, she had asked the general contractor of the Confederation, ARGE Milla & Partner, to comply with the nature and species protection requirements that have been pending for years.

According to Nabu, however, neither sufficient shelter nor alternative breeding grounds for the bats have been created so far. Despite built-in barriers, the animals had flown back into the vault in the base. A surveyor has detected there in October water, dwarf and Rauhautfledermäuse. They are on the Red List as endangered mammals.

  For the project, which has been controversial for years, the Bundestag released 17 million euros last year. On the pedestal of the former Kaiser Wilhelm National Monument in front of the future Humboldt Forum, a huge walk-in scale is to commemorate the peaceful recovery of German unity. The 150-ton bowl should tilt like a seesaw, depending on the distribution of visitors to the east or west.


  The construction should have been started long ago. But the Budget Committee stopped the project in the meantime, because it was supposedly too expensive with originally planned construction costs of 11 million euros.

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