A copy of a knotted gun sculpture which has become an emblem for peace was unveiled Tuesday in Lebanon’s capital Beirut near a tower block whose shattered facade evokes the civil war that once ripped the city apart.
Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reutersward made the original sculpture, a revolver with its barrel tied in a knot, as a tribute to John Lennon after he was shot in New York in 1980.
It stands outside the United Nations building in Manhattan, and the Non-Violence Project Foundation, created by Reutersward, has placed copies in other cities around the world.
The version in Beirut stands on the seafront, just around the corner from the old Holiday Inn building, a concrete tower block deeply scarred by shell and bullet holes from the 1975-90 civil war.
The conflict was fought largely between Christians and Muslims and also drew in Palestinians, Syria, Israel and other foreign powers.
For much of the war, Beirut was divided along its “green line” separating mostly Muslim west Beirut from the mostly Christian east. Twenty-eight years after the war ended, the damage is still visible in many parts of the city.
While Lebanon is now at peace, conflict has mired many other parts of the region and the seven-year war in neighboring Syria has sent a million refugees to seek refuge in its borders.