Press Release :
Japanese delegation unveils artwork donation to International Criminal Court
H.E. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Netherlands, Ms Naoko Saiki, Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, ICC President and Ms Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor unveiling the artwork (left); the “Peace and Justice Bell” (right) ©ICC-CPI
On 23-24 January 2017, Ms Naoko Saiki, Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands, and met with ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, and ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel. On 24 January, Ms Naoko Saiki and H.E. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Netherlands unveiled a new artwork donation to the ICC.
The artwork, the "Peace and Justice Bell", has been modelled on the Hiroshima Peace Bell, which was cast in 1967 by the late Mr Masahiko Katori (1899-1988), a renowned bronze artist and bell-caster in Japan. The Hiroshima Peace Bell has since served as a symbol of peace, rung once a year at the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony of Hiroshima.
Ms Saiki stated in her remarks at the ceremony that the donation of this artwork symbolizes Japan's longstanding pursuit of peace and, at the same time, its dedication to upholding the Court's resolution to guarantee lasting respect for and the enforcement of international justice. The "Peace and Justice Bell" thus epitomizes the goals, values and principles represented by the Court.
Expressing the Court's gratitude to the government of Japan for the donation, the ICC President said: "This thoughtful gift reminds us that the two ideals of peace and justice are interrelated and must go hand in hand. I am confident that the Peace and Justice Bell, placed at the Court's Permanent Premises, will serve as an inspiration for reflection and commitment to the goals of the Rome Statute."
Since the move to its new permanent premises in December 2015, the ICC received artwork donations from the Governments of Slovenia, Tunisia, Korea and Liechtenstein, representing their cultural heritage as well as reflecting the mandate of the Court.
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