The Peace Monument, designed by Michael Kitching, is a contemporary sculpture in Bicentennial Park at Homebush Bay. It was commissioned to celebrate the International Year of Peace in 1996.

The layout is based on a complex interplay involving the Earth’s axis and the trajectories followed by the planets in our Solar System. It illustrates what it might be like to be out in space looking back at earth to remind us of our fragile place in the solar system. Because we don’t feel or see the earth turning, we are rarely conscious that we live on a sphere constantly spinning through space.

The rod near the largest sphere on the sculpture is parallel to the north-south axis of our planet. By facing east it is possible to imagine the earth rotating around the real axis beneath our feet. The angle this rod makes with the ground is equal to our latitude south of the equator. The time of day can be marked from the shadow of the rod as it moves over the ground. The rod at the other end of the other monument points in the same direction as the plane where all the planets, the Sun and the Moon pass over us from east to west.

Throughout history, bells have been rung to celebrate the achievement of peace. There are three bells here for The Earth, The Moon and Space. During the construction of the monument, none of the numerous ongoing military conflicts were resolved, and three major new wars were declared. The bells are currently filled with stops and cannot be rung. The artist has suggested that the bells will ring out one day – when there is peace throughout the world.

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