Saxony-Anhalt: Halle and Wittenberg want "future center"

Halle (dpa/sa) - The cities of Halle and Wittenberg have jointly confirmed their locational ambitions for the new "Future Center for German Unity and European Transformation".

Saxony-Anhalt: Halle and Wittenberg want "future center"

Halle (dpa/sa) - The cities of Halle and Wittenberg have jointly confirmed their locational ambitions for the new "Future Center for German Unity and European Transformation". Despite the partnership, each of the cities wants to have the new institution with them. Both Halle's Mayor Egbert Geier and his Wittenberg counterpart Jochen Kirchner (both SPD) made this clear on Wednesday in Halle. With the new institution, the federal government wants to honor the experience of East Germans with change and upheaval. The site selection for the new center should start before the summer.

Both "partners" campaigned for the state's support and spoke of a "clear signal to Magdeburg". According to Geiers, the Riebeckplatz at the main train station in Halle offers ideal conditions for the new building. Around 15,000 square meters of floor space for conferences, events and exhibitions could be created here. In Wittenberg, they favor a building at the university site in Leucorea, explained Kirchner.

In its final report, the federal government's site commission assumes that the future center could attract up to a million visitors a year. For both cities, that would be a quantum leap in terms of tourism. For comparison: According to Kirchner, the entire Lutherstadt Wittenberg has around 200,000 visitors a year - about a fifth of the additional streams of visitors expected. Halle's Mayor Geier said the institution played in the "Champions League of the most visited institutions".

According to a key issues paper, the center is to have three tasks: research on the upheavals after unification; Exhibitions that also honor the achievements of the East Germans; as well as a room for meetings and events. A commission chaired by the former Prime Minister of Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck (SPD) proposed the institution in 2020. Numerous cities in the East have applied as a location.

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