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Bear hugs from Berlin

A circle of 143 bear sculptures representing different countries are in town to promote peace and harmony.

Published: July 4, 2012 (Issue # 1716)



  • Russias bear (4th from left) is decorated with a traditional khokhloma pattern and is popular with visitors.
    Photo: ALEXANDER BELENKY / SPT

  • Each bear represents a different country. Cubas bear smokes a cigar.
    Photo: ALEXANDER BELENKY / SPT

The world-touring United Buddy Bears are celebrating their 25th exhibition and 10th anniversary in St. Petersburg. One hundred and forty-three brightly painted two-meter tall bear figures from all over the world stand hand in hand in the Alexandrovsky Garden, promoting living together in peace and harmony.

The free outdoor exhibit is open in the city 24 hours a day through Aug. 5.

Buddy Bears first hit the streets in 2001. Project initiators Eva and Dr. Klaus Herlitz wanted art to be on display in city streets and decided to start a unique art project in Berlin.

The positive reaction we got from visitors gave us the idea to use Buddy Bears popularity to provide more targeted food for thought to promote mutual understanding between different people. In 2002 this thought developed into the idea of the United Buddy Bears, said Michael Stefanescu, managing director of Buddy Bear Berlin.

Each fibreglass bear represents a member state of the United Nations. All of the bears are standing together hand in hand, forming a large circle of equals.

Artists from all over the world were invited to realize the project. Each bear was created in a different style to express the unique character of the artists native countries, allowing visitors to take a journey around the world while visiting the exhibition.

Together Buddy Bears represent a complete work of art, spreading an enormous zest for life, said Stefanescu.

The bears promote tolerance and mutual understanding between different nations and cultures. None of the bears represent a government or current political system. They represent people and their cultures. The arrangement of the different countries symbolizes the vision of a world that will be peaceful in the future, he said.

There are also four special bears that present ideas necessary for people to co-exist peacefully. Two golden bears holding hands show that nobody can live on their own and that how people behave toward one another has consequences. The first Golden Rule bear conveys the message that the more friendly a person is to other people, the more friendliness they are likely to receive in return. The words Try to treat everyone the way you want to be treated are written on it.

The second Global Ethic bear illustrates that there can be no peace among nations without peace among religions. The bear represents the basic commandments from the Declaration toward a Global Ethic and is covered in quotes from different religions that all mean the same thing In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, July 31


Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Womens Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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