Berliners divided over fate of palace

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A petition was handed to the German government this week asking for the former East German parliament building to be saved from demolition.

The fate of the building has raised questions about German identity.

It's hard to overlook the Palace of the Republic: a squat, brown building on a vast expanse of empty concrete in the heart of Berlin.

It sits like an angry proletarian opposite the fake Italian Renaissance of the city's cathedral - which holds the bones of the Hohenzollern dynasty in its crypts.

This is a building, both in its style and its location that was designed to celebrate a state of workers and farmers. But that state has long faded into history, and the palace too is now on its death bed.

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