The Gallery consists of approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world, painted on the east side of the Berlin Wall. It is possibly the largest and everlasting open air gallery in the world. The first painting was started by Christine Mac Lean in December 1989 immediately after the fall of the wall. Paintings from Kasra Alavi, Kani Alavi, Jim Avignon, Thierry Noir, Ingeborg Blumenthal, Ignasi Blanch i Gisbert, and others have followed.
The paintings at the East Side Gallery document the time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better and free future for all people of the world.
For tourists the most interesting part of the East Side Gallery is the section close to station Ostbahnhof where all the paintings were completely restored. Also of interest is the river-side part of the East Side Gallery which shows the current art of Berlin's graffiti scene.
Two-thirds of the paintings are badly damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism. One-third has been restored by a non-profit organization which started work in 2000. The objective of this organization is the eventual restoration and preservation of all the paintings.