You’ve seen pictures of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. It’s Germany’s equivalent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but in a Neoclassical style.
Lately, Berlin seems to have a new use for its icon:
About half of the U-bahn cars have these stencils covering their windows.
I’m not sure but I suspect this is meant to discourage window-scratching, an especially destructive form of “tagging.” The theory here is that taggers are drawn to blank surfaces where their work will be legible. If that’s the purpose, it may be working; I saw only one window that had been scratched despite the stencils, and the tagger was clearly trying to adapt to the remaining blank space. (On principle, I don’t post photos of tags; tagging is all about personal publicity, so posting a photo of a tag would make me the tagger’s accomplice.)
It’s not nearly as obtrusive as a wrap nor is it as profitable, but it’s still not something I’d recommend. Now and then on a gray day a glimpse of the city between Brandenburg Gates can be intriguing, even romantic …
… but mostly the cure seems worse than the disease.