Kani Alavi

Kani Alavi, born in 1955 in Lahidjan (Northern Persia), moved to Berlin in 1980. Here, he began studying painting as a student of Prof. Klaus Fußmann at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 1986, he became a master-class student under Prof. Klaus Fußmann.

In 1990, Alavi was one of the artists who painted parts of the Berlin Wall, which is today known as the East Side Gallery. Since 1996, he has been the initiator of the artists' initiative "East Side Gallery". In 2001, wall segments painted by him were officially gifted to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan by the President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse. And in 2002, these segments were installed in the United Nations Sculpture Garden in New York.

In 2011, Kani Alavi was awarded the Medal of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his significant commitment to the creation, preservation, and reconstruction of the largest open-air gallery in the world (East Side Gallery Berlin). In 2013, the demolition of part of the wall began. At the end of March 2013, Alavi announced that he would return his award to the President of Germany in protest against further demolition of the East Side Gallery.

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