From the 28th of November 2009 till the 14th of April 2010 the current 144 United Buddy Bears had made a stopover on their world tour to be exhibited in Berlin’s main station. The German Federal Minister for Labour, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, was the partonage of the exibition.
Directly in the passage where you get to the U55 the circle of the bears was accessible for visitors round the clock.
This exhibition was presented by Buddy Bear Berlin and the BVG.
In the presence of hundreds of guests, Andreas Sturmowski, Klaus and Eva Herlitz, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Onzhanov and the actress Dennenesch Zoudé inaugurated the circle of United Buddy Bears at Berlin-Hauptbahnhof on 28th November 2009. You can read the official message of greetings by Dennenesch Zoudé below.
The atmosphere of the event was very joyful as the bears can now be visited for four months in Berlin before they’ll continue their tour around the world in April 2010.
Many of the international artists had made the journey to Berlin for a reunion with their Buddy Bear creations and fellow artists.
The inauguration was accompanied by the saxophonist Ines Weber, the Taunusschule children’s choir and Berlino, the mascot of the World Championships in Athletics 2009.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends of Berlin & bears,
It is a great honour and joy for me to celebrate the inauguration of this unique exhibition together with you. Over the past years, the United Buddy Bears have travelled all five continents as colourful ambassadors – always welcomed by several hundred thousand rapturous visitors. I was deeply impressed how the Buddy Bears managed to set signs with a tremendous symbolic power. Behind the idea of the Buddy Bears is a vision connecting all the people of this world: The vision of living together in peace, hand in hand.
144 United Buddy Bears represent 144 nations reaching out to join hands – bridging all cultural, political and religious differences. I think that this simple gesture can achieve so much … in everyday life as much as in politics. I have always been fascinated by the fact that all the bears have the same shape, yet are so very different. And because they are lined up in alphabetical order, it suddenly turns out that Iraq and Iran are standing together hand in hand under the letter ‚I’, right next to Israel! It is not always possible to choose one’s neighbour. This is where I see the Buddy Bears as our partners. They set a positive example, showing us how we can make one step towards one another and indicating that we can only live together in peace if we are curious about each other. If we do not perceive otherness as a threat, but as an enriching experience and an opportunity to learn from one another.
Last year, the United Buddy Bears travelled to Pyongyang in North Korea – as the first exhibition from abroad that was open to the public. Every week, several hundred thousand visitors came to see the exhibition: For the people in a country as isolated as North Korea, each individual bear was like a small piece of the whole wide world.
At the same time, every bear also stands for Berlin as our city’s heraldic animal. And which other city could be more suitable than Berlin to communicate the vision of this exhibition? Contrasts and contradictions are united here. So much hope and diversity are generated in this city – a city where people were separated for decades, stretching out their hands across walls and borders.
With today’s inauguration of the latest exhibition, I am delighted to welcome the United Buddy Bears in Berlin once more.
- Abb. 1:
- Dennenesch Zoudé at the opening in Berlin 2009
The exhibition owes its origin and the possibility to be visited all over the world completely free of charge to the committed work of many institutions, organisations, administrative bodies, companies and individuals.
We would like to thank our sponsors for their fantastic support: