Belfast Telegraph

Former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou allegedly vandalised Berlin Wall

By Tom Sheen

Former Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou is facing a huge fine after reportedly vandalising the Berlin Wall.

The Ivorian, 29, now at Budesliga club Hertha Berlin was apparently filmed by national broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenbury breaking off a piece of the wall using a hammer and chisel, according to the Berliner Kurier.

The Wall is a protected monument dating back to the fall of the German Democratic Party (GDR) in 1991 - anyone found vandalising the landmark faces a hefty fine of up to €10,000. The Berlin Wall divided the city between 1961 and 1989.

The complaint was made to the police by Kani Alavi who is chairman of the artists initiative the East Side Gallery. They reportedly own the copyright to the graffiti on the wall, while the Wall belongs to the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough of Berlin.

"When I saw the pictures, I almost fell off the couch," Alavi told the paper (the quotes have been translated and edited slightly).

"We have a well-paid celebrity increasing his market value at the expense of a monument. Without respect. And the public television mixes with it. I am deeply disappointed."

He added: "Just because there are no security guards, that does not mean that you can do what you want there. If he had been doing that at the Brandenburg Gate, the player would have been arrested."

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