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The Non-Violence Sculpture at the UN
  • Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, best known for his sculpture of a revolver with a knotted barrel, died recently on May 3, 2016, aged 81.  Read more ...

  • The famous sculpture is one of the first artworks seen at the UN on the outdoor Plaza at the UN Visitors Entrance on 46th Street and 1st Avenue.

  • Reuterswärd made this sculpture after his friend, the singer and peace activist John Lennon, was shot dead in 1980. Yoko Ono asked him to commemorate Lennon.

  • The bronze sculpture, Non-Violence, is of a giant Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver with a knotted barrel and the muzzle pointing upwards

  • Initially, the sculpture was placed in the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, New York, across the street from where Lennon and Yoko lived.

  • In 1988, the Government of Luxembourg donated the bronze sculpture to the United Nations.

  • It was placed outside the United Nations headquarters in New York and Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Laureate, said:

  • “The sculpture Non-Violence has not only endowed the United Nations with a cherished work of art; it has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man; that which asks not for victory, but for peace.”

  • There are 30 copies of the non violence sculpture around the world, ten of them in Sweden, and one in Beijing. The UN sculpture is the original.

  • On the 2011 anniversary of the death of John Lennon, fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr urged musicians to join The Non Violence Project, using an adapted version of Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd's famous sculpture.

  • The artist Reuterswärd, lived in Lausanne, Switzerland, for many years and his works were exhibited around the world. After a stroke in 1989 he was wheelchair-bound but began working with his left hand.

  • The sculpture was the basis for the Non Violence Project's 'Knot Violence' campaign

Story credit: Martin Chilton, Culture Editor, The Telegraph, UK

UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakaran