San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

‘Peace Parade’ flocking to Costa Rica in September

In September, a flock of 70 giant, painted dove statues will decorate the city of San José beginning Sept. 12, as part of a street exhibition called the “Peace Parade,” the news agency EFE wrote.

The figures are 2.5 meters high and 50 of them were hand painted by students from public schools. The remaining 20 were painted by local artist.

The San José Municipality, Culture Ministry and some private sponsors organized the exhibit. The statues will be placed in parks, avenues and squares of the capital until Dec. 10.

“Costa Rica is a country with a world-renowned pacifist reputation,” said Johnny Araya, San José’s mayor. “For more than 60 years we have had no army and that’s something that should make us proud.”

The doves will stand on a spherical base, a reference to pre-Colombian stone spheres built by indigenous groups in the region.

Costa Rican Culture Minister Manuel Obregon said the “Peace Parade” helps San José improve its cultural scene.

“The birds not only reflect our culture of peace, but also our relationship with the environment,” Obregon said “Art is as an element of change that strengthens national identity.”

Organizers of the “Peace Parade” expect to attract thousands of people from the country. A similar event called the “Cow Parade” took place two years ago. The exhibit traveled to several countries, and consists of fiberglass cows painted and decorated by artists.

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