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China Objects to Photographs of Tibetan Victims

A large mural with photos of 114 images of victims and survivors of violence from around the world was removed from The Art of Peacemaking:The Gun Sculpture exhibit due to a complaint from Chinese delegation to the organizers at the United Nations Vienna International Centre.

The mural includes two photos of Tibetan nuns with the words "imprisoned and beaten in prison" and "locked up as a teenager because of violent political beliefs" beside them.

The artists, Sandra Bromley and Wallis Kendal from Edmonton have sent a letter to Antonio Costa, director general of the United Nations Office in Vienna expressing their disappointment with the action.They wrote: "It is ironic that an institution dedicated to protecting human rights should so quickly sacrifice the artist's creative freedom, the right to 'speak' in the memory of those unable to defend themselves from abuse. In more than 30 years of exhibiting art in three continents, neither one of us has ever experienced this kind of blatant censorship or disrespect."

The Gun Sculpture went to the Centennial Exhibition for the Nobel Peace Prize in Seoul and it has also been on display at the UN's headquarters in New York.

The other two components of the exhibit includes a massive gun sculpture created from 7,000 deactivated crime and military weapons donated from around the world and a wall-sized blackboard for visitors to leave messages.

The exhibit is scheduled to run until July 31 and the artists have asked that the missing component be put back.

Some information for this report was provided by CBC.