BERLIN — All eyes — including those of Bill Clinton — were on Willy Bogner as he dramatically undraped Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate during Reunification Day festivities in the German capital last week.

One of Berlin’s most famous monuments, the Brandenburg Gate had literally been under wraps for almost two years of renovation. Bogner dreamed up the idea of ascending to the top of the gate in a hot-air balloon and then rappeled the monument, unzipping the shielding tarpaulins on the way down. The Berlin senate gave the go-ahead, and to those who questioned why a Bavarian was unveiling Berlin’s central monument, Bogner replied: "It’s the day of unity, for goodness sake."

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