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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, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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