Construction of a memorial dedicated to gay people who were victims of the Nazis in World War II will begin shortly says the German government.

The statement comes after four years of delays partly because of disagreements over the design. On Monday it was announced that minor changes to the design, by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, were finally approved.

The memorial is set to be completed by the end of the year and will cost in the region of $800 000.

Located in the Tiergarten Park near an existing memorial to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, the monument will consist of a grey concrete block, with a window which will allow visitors to view a film of gay and lesbian couples kissing.

It has been estimated that around 50 000 people were convicted of being homosexuals by the Nazis, with around 10 000 to 15 000 gay men deported to the concentration camps, where few survived.

The Nazi laws criminalising homosexuality were only repealed by Germany in 1969. In 2002, the German Parliament officially issued a pardon to gay people convicted by the Nazis.

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