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15 Invisible Peace Monuments

N.B. These invisible peace monuments were never intendeed to be seen by the public, in whole or part.
Click here for hidden peace monuments which were originally intended to be seen but which have, for one reason or another, been hidden from public view.

Click any image to enlarge.

July 20, 1969 - Memorial Plaque, Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Left behind on the moon (on the lunar module’s descent ladder). "The tablet reads: 'HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY 1969 A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND.' They also left behind a memorial bag containing a gold replica of an olive branch as a traditional symbol of peace & a silicon message disk. The disk carries the goodwill statements by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson & Nixon & messages from leaders of 73 countries around the world."

August 1, 1971 - Fallen Astronaut, Hadley Rille (Moon). "An 8.5 cm (slightly over 3") aluminum sculpture of an astronaut in a spacesuit which commemorates astronauts who died in the advancement of space exploration. Placed on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 15."

1972 & 1973 - Pioneer Plaques (Outer Space). "A pair of gold-anodized aluminium plaques which were placed on board the 1972 Pioneer 10 and 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecraft, featuring a pictorial message, in case either Pioneer 10 or 11 are intercepted by extraterrestrial life. The plaques show the nude figures of a human male and female along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the origin of the spacecraft. The Pioneer spacecraft were the first human-built objects to leave the solar system. The plaques were attached to the spacecraft's antenna support struts in a position that would shield them from erosion by stellar dust.

1973-1993 - Bateau de la Paix, 3 miles offshore Tel Aviv (Israel). "Conscient de la difficulté de diffuser ses convictions, Abie Nathan [1927-2008] décide d’émettre de manière illégale, dans les eaux internationales, à quelques kilomètres de Tel Aviv. « Shalom, salaam, paix à tous nos auditeurs », lança-t-il lors de la première diffusion sur les ondes de La Voix de la Paix, en 1973, ajoutant : « nous espérons qu’avec cette radio nous aiderons à soulager la douleur et guérir les blessures de nombreuses années de souffrance pour les peuples du Proche-Orient ». Une des émissions phares était le rendez-vous quotidien présidé par Abie Nathan : le forum « Ma laassot » (en hébreu : « Que faire ? ») : une ligne téléphonique à plusieurs canaux qui permettait à des individus sans distinction de race, de religion ou de géographie de simplement se parler, se rencontrer et se découvrir." P
June 10, 2007 - Voice of Peace Memorial, Gordon Beach (below the Renaissance Hotel), Tel Aviv (Israel). Plaque with a speaker that plays segments of broadcasts by Abie Nathan [1927-2008] from the private floating radio station "MV Peace" which was anchored 3 miles off the coast of Tel-Aviv. Inscription: "The Voice of Peace - 1993-1973. 5 km off this shore Abie Nathan's peace ship was anchored broadcasting messages of peace, love and understanding." "On October 1, 1993, the mayor of Tel Aviv, Shlomo Lahat, went out to the ship and took part in the [last] broadcast at 13:00, he stated he would promise an anchorage for the MV Peace in Tel Aviv harbour and the ship would be rebuilt as a peace museum. The station closed with Pete Seeger's 'We shall Overcome' instead of the usual station theme... On November 28, the MV Peace set sail on her final voyage, 15 miles off the Israeli coast. The hull plugs were removed and the pumps switched on, to pump water into the ship. At 19:33 the ship sank... Now the plaque & speaker are all that remain from the Voice of Peace."

1977 - Voyager Golden Record (Outer Space). "Phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. Contain sounds & images selected to portray the diversity of life & culture on Earth. Intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them. The Voyager spacecraft are not heading towards any particular star, but Voyager 1 will be within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888 in the Ophiuchus constellation in about 40,000 years."

October 10, 1986-November 10, 1993 - "Mahnmal gegen Faschismus, Krieg, Gewalt - Fur Frieden und Menschenrechte / Memorial Against Fascism, War and Violence - For Peace and Human Rights," Rathaus Train Station, Harburger Ring, Hamburg (Germany). By Esther Shalev-Gerz & Jochen Gerz. "Started out as a pillar [12 meter stele] in 1986 and was gradually lowered into the ground over eight [or ten?] steps until 1993. Since then it has just been a plaque in the ground." Text on plaque quoted differently by different sources: "Denn nichts kann auf Dauer an unserer Stelle sich gegen das Unrecht erheben / Because nothing can permanently at our place to rise against injustice." "We invite the citizens of Harburg and visitors to the town to add their names here to ours. In doing so we commit ourselves to remain vigilant. As more and more names cover the 12-meter-tall lead column, it will gradually be lowered into the ground. One day it will have disappeared completely and the site of the Harburg monument against fascism will be empty. In the end it is only we ourselves who can rise up against injustice."

1989 - Invisible Monument to Free Speech, Sproul Plaza, University of California Berkeley (UCD), Berkeley, California (USA). "A small space completely free from laws or jurisdiction. The six inch circle of soil, and the 'free' column of airspace above it, is framed by a six foot granite circle. The inscription on the granite reads: 'This soil and the air space extending above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity’s jurisdiction.' Winning design by Mark Brest van Kempen (a graduate student at the San Francisco Art Institute) after a national public art competition commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement [led by Mario Savio (1942-1996)], which began on the UCB campus in 1964." /// Sproul Plaza is bordered by steps in front of Sproul Hall. "A small round brass marker, embedded in the concrete [right image], declares them as the 'Mario Savio Steps.'" 1989 UNIVERSITIES

1991 - Caesura sculpture, Jarry Park, 1425 Boulevard Rene Levesque West, Montreal, Quebec (Canada). "Near Boulevard Saint-Laurent near the police station. By Montreal artist Linda Covit who dedicated the work to Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Extensively restored in 2009." /// "Commandée par la ville de Montréal pour son anniversaire." /// "Buried in cement underneith the walls are some 2,700 war toys donated by children to protest military expenditure in a world of immense human needs. Some of the toys, cast in bronze - from swords to tanks - remain on the surface to remind us of the folly & futility of the warrior mentality & of stockpiling armaments." (A caesura is a complete pause in a line of poetry or in a musical composition.) Entry #1352 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1993 - Mahnmal gegen Rassismus / Monument against Racism, Schlossplatz, Saarbrüken, Saarland (Germany). Also called "Invisible Warning Monument." "Designed by Jochen Gerz in collaboration with students of the College of Fine Arts. [Invisibly] on the back [underside] of 2,146 paving stones the names of Jewish cemeteries are engraved, which existed before the Second World War in Germany." Outside the castle which used to contain a Gestapo prison. Visited by EWL: Incredibly, not a single word in any language identifies this fountain (which is placed incongruously in a depression pressed into a formal 18th century courtyard) or the 2,146 invisible names of Jewish cemeteries to which it was presumably constructed to bear witness. Why build a monument if visitors have no way of knowing what it means? [See commentary in Ian Buruma (1994), "The Wages of Guilt," p. 205.]

April 26, 1992 - Los Angeles Holocaust Monument, Pan Pacific Park, Los Angeles, California (USA). "Six 18 feet high columns of black granite on a base of red granite. The triangular columns provide 18 panels on which there are bronze bas-reliefs & inscriptions that depict the Holocaust Era from 1933 to 1945. The open space in the middle of the Monument symbolizes the 'invisible' seventh column, which personifies all those who survived the Holocaust and pledged themselves to a better world."

May 3, 1997 - World Peace Crystal Grid (WPCG), North Magnetic Pole, near Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (Canada). From websites of the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT), Southfield, Michigan (USA): "In May 1997, I placed a specially designed and empowered Reiki Grid... It was created with the intent of promoting world peace by becoming a planetary beacon charged with healing energies sent by people from all over the world... When the sea ice melts in July, it will sink to the bottom of the ocean where it will remain forever." The inscription on the plaque says: "May the followers of all religions and spiritual paths work together to create peace among all people on earth."

1997 - Sagan Planet Walk, Ithaca, New York (USA). "Scale model of the solar system on a 5,000,000,000:1 scale... Carl Sagan [1934-19xx], of course, taught at Cornell (located in Ithaca) for many years, which is his connection to the town; hence the location for the memorial...But my favorite thing about the planet walk I don't have a photograph of. It isn't on the map; it isn't in Ithaca -- it doesn't even exist yet, and it probably never will. But there has been talk apparently about building a matching, to-scale monolith for Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun. It would be in Hawaii."

1998 - "At the Un-National Monument along the Canadian Border" by William Stafford (from "The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems," copyright © 1998 by William E. Stafford [1914-1993], Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota (USA):
This is the field where the battle did not happen, where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands, where no monument stands, and the only heroic thing is the sky.

Birds fly here without any sound, unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed—or were killed—on this ground hallowed by neglect and an air so tame that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.

December 17, 1999 - World Peace Crystal Grid (WPCG) at the Geographic South Pole (Antarctica). "[Both] World Peace Crystal Grid[s are] made of solid copper in the shape of the heart chakra, 12 inches in diameter and plated with 24 carat gold. A 12 sided quartz pyramid is at the center under which are inscribed the Usui power symbol and the Karuna peace symbol. Double terminated quartz crystals are on each petal. Inscribed around the center are symbols for all the world's religions and the words: 'May the followers of all religions and spiritual paths work together to create peace among all people on earth.'"

March 17, 2010 - "Baggage," scattered throughout Leiden (Netherlands). "Six vintage suitcases carved from different rock types... Erected in memory of the Jewish fellow citizens who were killed during World War II. Maker is the Dutch-Israeli artist Ram Katzir. On March 17, 1943 in Leiden & surroundings a raid took place in which all Jews who were not in hiding were arrested & deported. 270 of them were killed in the concentration & extermination camps... By whom are these different suitcases left behind? The two side by side in the Zonneveldstraat forgotten by a mother & child? What stories hides the elegant suitcase at the Vliet? And what happened to the young owner of the basalt suitcase at the Roodenburgstraat? The apparently casually placed suitcases are in fact an anti-monument, with absence in the leading role. The title refers literally to what each of us takes in life, but also what we leave behind. Luggage is an intimate monument which will start the dialogue. And will stimulate young & old thinking about the consequences of exclusion by people from one another. /// Information courtesy of Marten van Harten.

February 1, 2012? - Peace Doves, opposite Peace Gardens, St. Paul's Parade, Sheffield (England). No plaque at street level or anything else to draw attention to the doves on a chimney top. "Stainless steel sculpture by Sheffield artist Richard Bartle. Features seven life-size doves perched on chimney of Bar Ha!Ha! (now Browns Bar & Brasserie) next to the Peace Gardens. Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s visit to the Second World Peace Congress held in Sheffield in 1950. Pablo Picasso [1881-1973] arrived at Sheffield Midland railway station carrying a bouquet of chrysanthemums & wearing an old raincoat & blue beret. He was welcomed by members of the local communist party, the press & the public, and taken on a tour of the city. He ate a bacon sandwich at Thorpe's cafe in Fargate; had his hair trimmed at Peckitt's barbers, and drew a 'dove of peace' on a napkin in Butler’s Dining Rooms. The Congress was to be a special debate on the Korean War, but the Government at the time refused to allow important speakers into the country, & it was abandoned. Picasso gave a short speech, recalling that he had learnt to paint doves from his father, and ending by saying 'I stand for life against death; I stand for peace against war.' Later whilst returning to London he drew another Dove of Peace on a napkin, which he gave to the bodyguard who had accompanied him around the city. This drawing is now part of Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust’s collection and is now on permanent display at Weston Park Museum. Richard Bartle has used the original poster [from 1949], designed by Picasso, as a template to create the sculpture, in celebration of the memory of Picasso and the cause of peace that he introduced into an already radically thinking Sheffield..."

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