Two-thirds of the Berlin Wall ended up in the U.S.

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tags: BERLIN WALL



...Many Americans took credit for its fall. But only one was poised to profit from it: New Jersey-based contractor Joseph Sciamarelli.

When the Wall fell, a friend sent Sciamarelli a piece he'd chipped off by hand. A CNN report of the event caught the eye of an official from Limex-Bau, the German company contracted to demolish the Wall. They offered him the exclusive right to distribute large pieces in the U.S. for $35,000.

Sciamarelli bought individual pieces for $35-$50,000 and sold them for $50-$100,000 — around twice what he'd paid for them. But sales were slow.

So Sciamarelli called former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and reminded him of his contribution to its fall. Reagan purchased one piece, then another.

Other presidents quickly followed suit. So did private collectors and other public institutions. Close to two-thirds of the Wall now sits on domestic soil...




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