Yao Yuan is a Chinese sculptor who was sentenced to work in a factory during the Cultural Revolution and later devoted his life and work to world peace. He created a Statue of Peace for Korea in 1995, one for Russia in 2000 and, in 2011 a stainless-steel World Peace Statue, which stands on the Friendship Square in Beijing. This one is in the coastal town of Grandcamp-Maisy, 4km west of Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach, part of the Atlantic Wall, the defense system put in place by the Germans to block the Allied invasion. It was dedicated in 2004. The colors, Yao said, are symbolic: the white steel and the sky blue are the colors of peace and reason in the face of injustice and war; the red granite of the pedestal symbolizes the blood shed during the war; the green of the lawn is an image of tranquility and serenity. The front of the World Peace Statue is marked with two Chinese characters, one meaning modesty and harmony, the other peace and tranquility. The message is: When we all want peace, / Why is the world full of conflict? / Why are endless wars still ravaging the earth? / Why do famine, poverty and plague still keep humanity in bondage?” and “Citizens of this global community love our earth! / Together let us stop war and live in harmony!”

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