Non-Violence - The Knotted Gun

"Non-Violence" (a.k.a. "The Knotted Gun"), by Fredrik Reuterswärd, a gift from the Government of Luxembourg to the United Nations

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 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.

One of the first three versions of the sculpture was 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 United 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."

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