Auction Of Berlin Wall Fetches $33,000 A Chunk

MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Up for sale at one of Europe's poshest auctions, graffiti-covered segments of the Berlin Wall sold for as much as $33,000 for a 2.5-ton chunk.

About 40 pieces of the wall were sold Saturday night at the Metropole Palace, for a total of $630,000. The proceeds were to benefit public-health services in East Germany.

But many lots were withdrawn by the organizers - a consortium of East German and West German companies - because no bidders reached the minimum-sale prices set in advance. These prices ranged from $12,600 to $36,000.

The biggest spender was an unidentified Swiss buyer who bought eight chunks for $175,000.

Most of the pieces up for bid weighed more than two tons and were almost 12 feet high, which may have inhibited collectors with limited display space.

A glossy catalog prepared for the auction depicted the wall segments in the same sort of language usually reserved for prestigious art works.

One chunk was described as ``anonymous graffito: an original painting in a very good state of preservation, slight damage to the left side.''