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29.05.2006 / Presse

Oman joined "Buddy Bears Berlin"

In May 2006, the Sultanate of Oman joined the United Buddy Bears which compromises 140 artists from 125 countries around the world. Former Ambassador Hartmut Blankenstein donated a bear sculpture to the Omani Society of Fine Arts at its premises in Muscat in Shatti Al-Qurum, accompanied by an exhibition. At the ceremony, the Buddy Bear which was painted by Omani artist Abdul Rahim Al-Hoti, was unveiled by H.E. Sultan bin Hamdoon Saif Al-Harthy, Undersecretary for Heritage Affairs at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

The United Buddy bears show started 2001 in Berlin when the first buddy bears were presented on a street show to citizen and tourists. In July 2002, buddy bear sculptures with colors and designs by 140 artists from 125 countries worldwide were set up in a circle near Berlin's landmark Brandenburg gate (www.united-buddy-bears.com). Meanwhile Arab artists from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen have contributed to this colorful cultural show. The motto of the "Buddy Bear" reads: "We have to get to know each other better ..., it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more and live together more peacefully".

In addition, through donations and sales of bears at auctions, the proceeeds of more than 1 Millionen Euros were provided in aid of UNICEF and a lot of other small, local child relief organisations.

author: Dr. Armin Koessler

Source:  Deutsche Botschaft Maskat