Chilean sculptor Francisco Gazitua will construct a monument to the victims of Colombia’s paramilitaries out of 18,000 weapons handed in during the process of demobilization, reports El Tiempo.
Forty-five tons of metal from the melted guns will be transported from a Medellin warehouse to Santiago de Chile, where Gazitua will mould the arms into a sculpture to commemorate victims of the bloodshed.
Colombia’s National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation (CNRR) first contacted the legendary Medellin artist Fernando Botero, but the man famous for his voluptuous sculptures turned down the project, saying that his medium was bronze, not iron.
Gazitua is also the creator of a monument in Chile’s capital in memory of the masses that suffered under the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
“We had to find an artist with experience in sculpture with respect to victims, and also the Chilean Bicentennial Committee recommended him,” said Panesso Jaime Jaramillo of the CNRR.
Gazitua is taking on the project free of charge, and a Chilean shipping company is lending its logistical support by shipping the sculpture through the Colombian Pacific port of Buenaventura.
The Chilean artist will be in Colombia from Saturday to make arrangements and make contact victims of the paramilitaries to get ideas for the project.