Colombians Get First Glimpse of Peace Monument

Colombians got their first glimpse Tuesday of a monument being constructed with weapons turned over by leftist rebels as part of an historic peace agreement ending more than five decades of bloody conflict.

The work by artist Doris Salcedo is titled “Fragments” and consists of a simple floor of gray-colored tiles built with melted rifles.

“This touches me personally, from the bottom of my heart,” President Juan Manuel said as he visited the site. “In a certain way, this is an epilogue.”

The monument is still under construction and is one of three that rebels and government officials agreed to build with more than 7,000 surrendered weapons. The other two will be placed in New York at the United Nations and in Cuba, where both sides spent four years negotiating the accord.

Salcedo said her work is an attempt to symbolically narrate the memories of war through a space that is “radically empty and silent.” The tiled floor monument will become part of a museum documenting the conflict.

Colombia’s conflict between leftist rebels, paramilitaries and the state left at least 250,000 dead, 60,000 missing and millions displaced.

Salcedo is a Colombian artist whose work has been shown in contemporary exhibitions at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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