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Greeting from the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. 15.06.2006

The 142 United Buddy Bears standing in a circle on Berlin's Bebelplatz are a wonderful symbol of tolerance, international understanding and peaceful co-existence. As they travel round the world, the Buddy Bears take that message to every corner of the globe. Each of the bears represents a particular country and has been styled by an artist from that country.

The Buddy Bears also, however, aim to provide very real assistance. Bears are sold at auctions in aid of child relief projects from time to time. In Berlin, the proceeds from the next auction will be in aid of the UNICEF project “Schools for Africa”, enabling children in Africa to receive a school education – leading into a future free of poverty. So as well as being works of art, the Buddy Bears also convey a political message.

I hope that the exhibition will attract much public attention and that the auction will be a great success. I would also like to thank all those who have made the United Buddy Bears project possible and have lent it their support for their enthusiasm and dedication.


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