Most people who´ve visited Phnom Penh, have passed this eye-catching sculpture near the Japanese Bridge.  Today’s questions: “What does it mean and how did it get there?”

Called “The Twisted Gun”, it has a clear non-violent message. The barrel is tied up in a big knot – so, obviously, the weapon couldn’t possibly be used. With Cambodia’s violent past, this is a powerful symbol of a peaceful country and peaceful future for its people. This sculpture was made from thousands of guns that had been melted down. Hundreds of them were old Khmer Rouge weapons. Hundreds more came from people voluntarily handing in their illegal guns. They happended after an appeal from the Prime Minister and City Governor who had the “knotted gun” idea in 1997 when the civil war was finally over. The sculpture was opened to the public in May 1998.


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Twisted Guns exist in many other countries

Did you know there are other “knotted” guns in many other countries? The first one was created by a Swedish designer, Carl Fredik Reuterswärd. He was shocked when his friend, world-famous singer, Beatle – John Lennon – was shot dead in America in 1980. A full-size version was given by Luxembourg to the United Nations in 1988. It’s now one of the most photographed objects in New York City. Other countries with their own knotted guns are Sweden which has three, France with two, Rwanda and Denmark. So next time your’re near the Japanese Bridge, why not stop off for a few minutes? Look more closely at the very own knotted gun in Phnom Penh and think about how YOU can help to create a more peaceful world!

Source: KMF Production for CTN News, Cambodia

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One Comment

  1. Cambodia is not a peaceful country What really is the definition of peace? Hun Sens greatest fear is an armed uprising He works hard to keep the army on his side…. he has seen what happens in Thailand…… so the civilians were asked to hand in guns….not for peace…But for control How has Hun Sen been in power for so long
    Why do we have the banality of the slogan…Peace for the world….. The main reason Cambodian people MAY appear as peaceful people is only because generally they are so juvenile and ignorant Best example of that is if they are so poor …WHY do they keep having children….. specially when they do not take care of them…. mothers even selling daughters as slaves (sex trade)
    I am glad I live as a decent (full) human being that has learnt to live with the trials and tribulations of an exciting life…. not the boring and mundane life of primitives and hippies
    For the record I am an Australian who came to Cambodia in the year 2000 to help disadvantaged children and I have a wonderful Vietnamese partner (female)

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