– Deutsche Presse-Agentur

BERLIN – A property developer behind plans to demolish a remnant of the Berlin Wall to make way for luxury apartments said Saturday he would carry through with the action despite protests.

“On Monday, the work continues,” Maik Uwe Hinkel told Berlin newspaper BZ.

Demonstrators on Friday at the East Side Gallery — a stretch of the Berlin Wall that features some 120 paintings by international artists — prevented a crane from removing a 72-foot section of what is considered to be the world’s longest open air gallery.

But Hinkel said plans for his Living Levels condominium project should not come as a shock, as they had been approved by the proper Berlin agencies and the city-state’s Senate.

Hinkel, of the Living Bauhaus investment group, said that, in addition to providing an access road to the apartments, the demolition would allow for the reconstruction of a pedestrian bridge destroyed in World War II.

Protesters plan to gather at 2 p.m. Sunday at the stretch of the Wall, but observers say that it appears unlikely the project could be permanently blocked.

Located in Berlin’s former Communist side along the Spree River, the East Side gallery is one of the city’s major tourist attractions, with more than 1 million people visiting it each year. About $3.3 million have been spent by Berlin authorities to restore the city’s second most popular attraction after the Brandenburg Gate.