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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, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburgs showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the teams website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literatures most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poets birthday. The tragic tenors work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russias greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Centers Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test ones intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only mans best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during todays reenactment titled Winter War: How it Was. More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie Black Cat, White Cat, as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of Takoy Festival, a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonights festival finale is Fathers and Sons, a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenevs classic about familial relations.



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