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Photo Op: Peace City mural almost complete at Tuam St carpark

20 February 2003

A 30m x 8m permanent mural celebrating peace is being painted on the walls of the Tuam Street City Car Park.

The artwork-in-progress, a partnership between the Christchurch City Council’s Legal Art Programme and the Peace Foundation Disarmament and Security Centre, will celebrate Christchurch’s peace history - in particular the 2002 Peace City designation and the 20th anniversary of Christchurch as a Nuclear-Free City.

The mural has been designed by Jonny Wartmann and features native flora and fauna and scenes of people working for peace. “The windows symbolise a view into the hopes of people for peace” Jonny says. “Three complete window scenes are bordered by the word peace in different languages and the Maori words Maukaroko and Hohouroko, which mean the renewal of peace, hence the forest growing through the crumbling wall.”

The Peace City mural should be finished by Friday 21 February. Since January 18 2003 this space has been more public, as the venue of The World Famous Christchurch Produce Marketplace.

In 1982 Christchurch was the first city in New Zealand to declare itself nuclear free. This was five years before New Zealand adopted a nuclear-free policy.

In July 2002 Christchurch City Council adopted a proposal to make Christchurch New Zealand’s first Peace City, linking with the UNESCO Cities for Peace Network - municipalities around the world supporting the nurturing of a culture of peace and tolerance.

Support for the mural project has been received from all over the community including the City Council, Te Runanga ki Otautahi o Ngai Tahu, Orion, Butler Auto Mart, Christchurch Environment Centre, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

“This project was inspired by the idea of getting positive and accessible messages promoting peace into the community, especially through art, which is emblematic of a culture of peace.” Says Peace Foundation worker Adrienne Ross.

To arrange a photograph or for more information, please phone Jonny Wartmann on 021 1374 233.

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