Le Mémorial de Caen en France

In 1980 Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd created an artwork, known as “Non violence” or “The knotted gun”, for reasons described as follows:

When the artist learned that his friend, John Lennon, had been murdered, he became so upset and angry over this senseless death and the many other outbursts of unnecessary violence that he went to his studio and started working on the “non-violence” project. “My first sketches in three dimensions were rather rough and simple, but the important thing was that the idea of the knotted barrel was with me from the very start,” he said.

The swedish artist produced different variations of the piece, the most famous being the sculpture installed in 1985 in Malmo/Sweden. It consists of a large replica in bronze of a 45-calibre revolver, the barrel of which is tied into a knot. The gun is cocked, but the knot makes it clear that it will not shoot.

Replicas of the sculpture have been installed in many countries since then, one being in New York/USA at the Grounds of the United Nations. It was one of the first three versions of the sculpture, bought by the Luxembourg government and offered to the UN in 1988. It was said then that:

With Non-Violence, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd has not only endowed the Untited Nations with a cherished work of art; he has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol. It is a symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man: that which asks not for victory, but for peace.

Reuterswärd wrote later that humor was the finest instrument to bring people together. While making his peace symbol, he thought of adding a touch of humor to make his “weapon” symbolically ridiculous and completely out of order

Click here to see the other locations of the famous Knotted Gun and view images from around the world.

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