24 October 2020

United Nations 75th Anniversary

Azerbaijan: United Nations 75th Anniversary, 24 October 2020. Image from Colnect.

Technical Specifications:

Issued on: 2020-10-24
Size: 52 x 37 mm
Colors: Multicolor
Perforations: 13 x 13½
Printing: Offset lithography
Denomination: 0.60 m.
Print run: 5,000

A graphic representation of Non-Violence, also known as The Knotted Gun, a bronze sculpture by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd of an oversized Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver with its muzzle tied in a knot.

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd made this sculpture after the murder of John Lennon. One copy was originally located at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park. In 1988, Luxembourg donated it to the United Nations, and the sculpture was moved right outside of the headquarters of the UN.

Since 1993, the sculpture has been the symbol of The Non-Violence Project (NVPF), a nonprofit organization that promotes social change through violence-prevention education programs.

In 2011, Ringo Starr unveiled his own brightly colored version of The Knotted Gun that he created.

For the 30th anniversary of the sculpture, the NVPF and the art dealer Hansen Fine Art launched a foot-long version of the sculpture sold online. The United Nations Postal Administration issued three stamps depicting the sculpture. In 2019, the NVPF worked with the Dalai Lama to make 150 small-scale Non-Violence sculptures from melted confiscated guns (Humanium Metal), including one copy signed by the Dalai Lama and auctioned at Sotheby’s.

The sculpture Non-Violence by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, in front of United Nations headquarters in New York City. Photograph taken on 13 January 2012.

According to Kofi Annan, “it has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man; that which asks not for victory, but for peace.” The Museum of Sketches for Public Art in Lund (Sweden) holds a sketch of the firearm on which Reuterswärd noted that his grief at the murders of Lennon and Bob Crane inspired him to design this artwork.

There are currently 31 copies of the sculpture around the world including 14 in Sweden and two in China.

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