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Greetings from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. 01.08.2007

With the opening of the United Buddy Bears 2007 exhibition in Jerusalem, including 138 Buddy Bears created by artists representing the nations of the world, it is my honor to extend greetings and best wishes to all the guests and participants of the exhibition.

Jerusalem is the most appropriate place for hosting this exhibition. Jerusalem, the city from which the ancient prophets called for global unity and coexistence, today serves as a center for nations of the world while blending diverse religions and cultures.

This exhibition represents this unity of the global community and symbolizes the possible realization of the vision of the prophets of a united and peace loving world. We await the time when all nations will come together and work as one for the better of mankind.

The use of the bear as a symbol has great significance. The bear is well recognized as a frightening and aggressive animal. Yet, at the same time, we are all aware of the sensitive and cuddly bear, known to us in the form of the “Teddy Bear”. Many children go to sleep at night with a feeling of comfort, cuddling with an image of a bear. Thus, aggressive images can be changed to comforting ones. The reality can also be changed for the good if we all work together in harmony.

May we all have the wisdom to change our reality and aggressive images, to fulfill the words of the Prophets.

Message of Greeting from the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for the United Buddy Bears Exhibition in Cairo and Jerusalem.01.08.2007

The 138 Buddy Bears, created by artists from all over the world, have now arrived in the Middle East for the next stage of their world tour. This form of cross-border cultural exchange has always been an essential part of art and culture and is intended to inspire us at all levels and in all social spheres, particularly in the age of globalization.

An initial glance is enough to show us that despite their similarity, the Buddy Bears differ from one another as much as we do. Together, they form a work of art which symbolizes the longing for unity within diversity, for a world in which people and cultures learn to know and live in peace with one another, a world of tolerance, friendship and mutual understanding.

I am delighted that the Buddy Bears, as ambassadors for Berlin and for a Germany that seeks contact with the rest of the world, can now enjoy stopovers in Cairo and Jerusalem, in the two countries which succeeded in putting an end to a long and difficult conflict by signing a peace treaty.

Both cities have a unique historical and symbolic tradition, and surely few places are more deeply shrouded in controversy than Jerusalem. And yet people all over the world also associate Jerusalem with values such as mutual respect, tolerance and hope for a peaceful world. Values of which the Buddy Bears want to remind us.


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Eine Initiative von Eva und Dr. Klaus Herlitz

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