Piece of the Berlin Wall at Bedok Reservoir Park to be removed

The four panels of the historic Berlin Wall which are currently on display at Bedok Reservoir Park will be returned to their owners by the end of this year.

The 5m long section of the wall, which was unveiled in January 2010 to much fanfare, was here on indefinite loan from American oil industry veteran Robert A. Hefner III, 78, and his Singapore-born wife MeiLi.

The Hefners plan to move the segments back to the United States, to display on one of their properties.

The concrete slabs, currently housed in a custom-built $2 million glass, steel and concrete facility at the park, are in Singapore as the result of a friendship between the Hefners and the former Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo.

The Hefners initially wanted to exhibit the pieces with their collection of Chinese oil paintings at the National Museum of Singapore in September 2008, but found that it was impractical to transport the segments here as the exhibition was only a month long.

Mr Yeo then proposed that they display the pieces in Bedok Reservoir-Punggol, which was then his constituency.

Regarding their return, Mr Yeo said: "I expressed sadness and the strong hope that they would keep it at Bedok Reservoir for a while longer. But it is a decision they have taken which I have to respect."

For more, read The Straits Times tomorrow.