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Australia gets Ready for the Bears

Early next year Sydney will become a temporary home to 120 bears. Standing in a circle, each one is colourful and of a different design. These animal ambassadors, whose mission is to promote love, peace and solidarity, form the Buddy Bears exhibition, which will be touring Australia in 2006. Millions of people have already seen this unique art exhibition in Kitzbühel, Hong Kong, Istanbul and Tokyo.

Idea

The idea for this project came about in 2002. The German Dr. Klaus Herlitz and his wife, Eva, wanted to create a symbol of tolerance and understanding among nations. They believed that people around the world liked bears, regarding them as friendly, and came up with the idea of creating the Buddy Bears. With the motto "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" this project was originated.

Message

The two-metre-high Buddy Bears represent the 12o nations of the UN. In the exhibitions around the world, the colourful bears are all hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder to give the message of tolerance among nations.

Art

As a basis for a better understanding, 140 artists from the countries the bears represent show the artistic style of their home country The individual design of each bear not only represents the different artistic styles of the countries involved but also the country itself Therefore, every single Buddy Bear is special and unique.

First display

The exhibition was first displayed near the Brandenburger Gate in Germany's capital city of Berlin. It was visited by more than 1.g million people. As a result of numerous enquiries from different countries, the project United Buddy Bears blossomed through the creation of 123 new bears which are currently an world tour.

Charity

After the first world tour, the individual bears were sold by auction, raising an enormous amount of money for UNICEF and other organisations which help children in need. On completion of this world tour, another charity auction will be organised to sell these Buddy Bears. The Buddy Bears and help for needy children are an inseparable unit.

Support

The tour is globally supported by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany with the principal sponsors Hamburg Süd and Schenker Stinnes Logistics. Locally the German Embassy in Canberra, the Consulat General of Germany Sydney the GoetheInstitut Sydney, Deutsche Securitisation as well as Henkel Australia are supporting the exhibition in Sydney

Where and when?

The colourful circle of bears will arrive in Sydney in February 20o6. The Buddy Bears organizers have presented three bears to the German embassy in Canberra, the German Consulate in Sydney and the Goethe-Institut. The bears will be painted in competition in a theme that reflects Australian society today The three Aussie bears will join the other 120 Buddy Bears in the 20o6 exhibition. Other visits will probably include Seoul, Amman, Cape Town, Shanghai, Addis Ababa, Athens, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.

Famous voices

Nowadays the Buddy Bears are globally represented as ambassadors of Berlin promoting the city's international flair. The Buddy Bears stand for a world without frontiers and for a city characterized by diversity and cosmopolitanism.

They promote international understanding and tolerance in a very artistic, impressive way. On their world tour they'll find as many enthusiastic admirers as they have done in Berlin.

I wish the exhibition great success. May the symbols of Berlin find many friends all over the world." Alayor o f Berlin, Klaus Wowereit

"The circle of bears is an impressive symbol of Berlin, the city that suffered most from separation, and a symbol of striving for tolerance and international understanding. I'm pleased to see that the `United Buddy Bears' will take these ideas far beyond the boundaries of Berlin soon." Former President of the Federal Repuhlic of Germany, Johannes Rau

"I think it is an excellent idea to enlist the Buddy Bears in the campaign for tolerance and understanding. Just as every country has its own culture, history and characteristics, every bear was painted or decorated by a different artist, giving each its own style and expression. When arranged in a circle, they form an impressive work of art that also symbolizes the cultural diversity of our one world - a world that through peaceful coexistence can be much more than merely the sum of its parts." Message of Greeting from Joschka Fischer. Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs

"I have travelled from Geneva specifically for the opening of the exhibition of `United Buddy Bears'. Even travelling all the way from Timbuktu would have been worth the effort. The way the circle is set up and arranged makes it an impressive work of art with great symbolic power." Sir Peter Ustinov, UNICEF-World Amhassador

 

 
 

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Eine Initiative von Eva und Dr. Klaus Herlitz

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