A total of 128 sculptures of bears that form part of a German itinerant exhibition aimed at promoting tolerance and understanding among nations will open in Havana next Jan. 16.

"The 40th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations between Germany and Cuba is a good reason to send a message calling for understanding and tolerance among nations through this unique 'United Buddy Bears' project," a communique released Wednesday by the Cuban Embassy in Berlin said.

Each sculpture represents a country and was conceived by an artist for his own homeland in an individual and unique way.

The sculptures, which measure 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) tall, and which have already been exhibited in 30 cities on the five continents, will be on show in San Francisco de Asis Plaza in the historic colonial center of the Cuban capital until March 1, 2015.

Taking part in the inauguration of the exhibition, which has the support of the local government, will be Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of the city of Havana, the German ambassador to Cuba, Peter Scholz, and Eva and Klaus Herlitz, promoters of the project.

The bears were exhibited for the first time in Berlin in 2002. EFE