Oak blocks dating back to World War I turned into peace symbols

Artists from all over the world have created symbols of peace using oak blocks bearing the traces of fighting from World War I in a museum in north-western Germany.

The works, by 31 artists, are to be seen in the exhibition “Damals nicht, jetzt nicht, niemals!” (Not then, not now, not ever!) in the Varusschlacht Museum in the town of Bramsche.

Volker-Johannes Trieb, an artist from the nearby city of Osnabrueck, initiated the idea by sending wooden blocks involved in the war more than a century ago to fellow artists.

They include Guenther Uecker from Germany, David McCracken from New Zealand, Hermann Nitsch from Austria and Ilja and Emilia Kabakow from Russia.

“You have to believe in world peace in order to make peace possible,” Trieb said on Thursday.

Confronting the issue “through the senses” is an important aspect alongside intellectual engagement, Trieb believes.

The artworks, on show from Saturday to February 16, have already been shown in Berlin’s Reichstag building, which houses the lower house of the German parliament, and will later move to UN headquarters in New York.

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