About

The Non Violence symbol by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd has become his most well known work of art and the most well know modern anti violence symbol.

The sculpture was inaugurated outside the United Nations building in New York and has according to the General Secretary Kofi Annan become a monument that “nobody who visits the UN building will forget.”

“Non violence” or “The knotted gun” was created in 1980 by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd created for reasons described as follows:

It was when Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd learned that his friend, John Lennon, had been murdered; he became so upset and angry over this senseless death and the many other outbursts of unnecessary violence that he went to his studio and started working on the “non-violence” project.

“My first sketches in three dimensions were rather rough and simple, but the important thing was that the idea of the knotted barrel was with me from the very start,” said Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd.

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd produced different variations of the piece, the most famous being the sculpture installed in 1985 in the city of Malmö in SwedenIt consists of a large replica in bronze of a 45-calibre revolver, the barrel of which is tied into a knot. The gun is cocked, but the knot makes it clear that it will not shoot.

The sculpture have been installed in many countries since then, one being in New York in United States of America at the grounds of the United Nations. It was one of the first three versions of the sculpture, bought by the Luxembourg government and offered to the UN in 1988. It was said then that:

With Non-Violence, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd has not only endowed the Untited Nations with a cherished work of art; he has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol. It is a symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man: that which asks not for victory, but for peace.