After decades of bureaucratic wrangling Berlin’s infamous centre of creativity and freedom, Tacheles art squat, has finally been cleared.

Situated in what used to be East Berlin, the massive warehouse includes a theatre, cinema, restaurant, and a maze of galleries and art workshops. It was in the early 1980s that the historic five-storey building was taken over by squatting artists who have managed to resist eviction efforts until now.

Tacheles quickly became a thriving hub of alternative culture, an “artistic colonisation”, where a vision of anarchist Dada dissent formed. It was a meeting place for the city’s artists and anarchists and brimmed with a mythic, avant-garde atmosphere. Tacheles held onto to the creative spirit of early 20th century Berlin, where radical artists such as Hannah Höch and Georg Grosz created and performed artistic protests against the ‘establishment’.

The City of Berlin have sold the subversive art squat to the Fundus investment company who plan to demolish the warehouse and build modern apartment blocks on the site. Bailiffs were able to clear the building without resistance but two artists dressed in black played a funeral march.

Tacheless spokesman Martin Reiter called the closure a “the theft of a work of art” and the Guardian newspaper have described it as “a sad moment for anyone who believes art can offer alternative visions of the world.”

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