John Catsimatidis to Chair Board for the Art of Peace Charitable Trust

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D.A. Robert Morgenthau and United Nations Ambassador Sergio Duarte Help Unveil Worldwide Initiative to Melt Weapon Stockpiles and Create Peace Angel Monuments

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, New York Entrepreneur John Catsimatidis and High Representative of Disarmament at United Nations, Sergio Duarte were present at the official launch of The Art of Peace Charitable Trust (AOPCT), an organization dedicated to fostering lasting peace through gathering weapons and melting them down to create peace angel monuments.

At the event, AOPCT unveiled its plan to create the first 30 by 32-foot, peace angel monument for the City of New York, from melted weapons collected worldwide. The AOPCT will partner with the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), a global movement against gun violence composed of a wide range of organization, in an effort to achieve its goal.

The New York Peace Angel Monument, designed by renowned artist Lin Evola-Smidt, will be mounted on a base called, "The Conversation" which includes thirty portrait sculptures of individuals who have done "extreme good" for humanity. The monument, which will be one of the most expensive sculptures ever created, will be unveiled upon its completion in 2012 and donated to the City of New York. Evola-Smidt is best known for her New York Renaissance Peace Angel, a thirteen-foot sculpture ensconced in the World Trade Center recovery area following September 11, 2001.

Lin Evola-Smidt's New Renaissance Peace Angel represents not only the memories of those lost, but a reminder of the mission of The Art of Peace Charitable Trust: to achieve lasting peace through innovative and durable approaches to weapons reduction by advancing active social-change initiatives in neighborhoods, communities and nations," stated D.A. Morgenthau.

The United Nations Department of Disarmament in New York and Geneva, Switzerland endorse Evola-Smidt and AOPCT's efforts. They are also lauded by Archbishop Desmund Tutu, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former President Clinton, as well as by Commissioner Raymond Kelly from the NYPD and Sheriff Lee Baca of the LASD. Besides the New York Peace Angel Monument, Lin Evola has been asked to create Peace Monuments for Los Angeles, California; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sarajevo, Bosnia/Herzegovina and Jerusalem, Israel.

The event took place at the United Nations, Delegates Dining Room, on Thursday, September 11, 2008.

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Isabel Quinteros
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