'Molecule Man' – Berlin, Germany - Atlas Obscura

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'Molecule Man'

This monumental work of art symbolizes the coming together of a previously divided city.  


This striking metal sculpture, created by American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky in 1999 is an iconic sight for those who pass by the banks of the Spree River. Situated in the middle of the river and at a height of almost 100 feet (30 meters), this work of art symbolizes the point where the three Berlin neighborhoods Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Treptow meet.

For a city that was previously divided into East and West by the Spree River, this aluminum sculpture is a symbol of integration. It consists of three men constructed in two-dimensional forms with their arms merged together. Borofsky described this as “molecules of human beings coming together to create an existence.” The holes in each of the three men are said to symbolize the molecules that sustain human life and that every person is made of the same molecules.

Interestingly, this immense sculpture is not the first of its kind made by Borofsky as there were two other original similar sculptures in Los Angeles built in 1977 and 1978, which gave him inspiration for future works. 

Know Before You Go

The monument sits in the middle of the Spree River and can be seen best from the Elsen Bridge and the surrounding banks on each side of the river.  

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