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Project

The Peace Monument „FLORIS PAX“

The Peace Monument „Floris Pax” is an educational art project ongoing over a longer period of time. „Floris Pax” is a project of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V., National Association of Saxony-Anhalt. The idea to set up a peace memorial in the Elbauenpark of the state capital Magdeburg was developed in cooperation with local artist Marcus Barwitzki. „Floris Pax” is a participatory educational art project. That means: it is a project to build up a peace monument together.
People from Saxony-Anhalt and all over the world are invited to participate. Each participant creates his own little piece of art work that in the end becomes part of a large-scale sculpture, the Peace Monument „Floris Pax”.
Most people in this world share the dream of a life in peace. The aim of the Peace Monument „Floris Pax” is to reflect this dream and bring together individual ideas of a peaceful world. This should motivate everyone to join the project and stand up for peace, both large and small.
The Peace Monument „Floris Pax” intends to be a starting point of peoples dialogue about peace. The overall aimof this project is the vision of a peaceful coexistence. 2,500 people from all over the world join to create a Peace Monument together! Following a discussion on the concept of peace, workshop participants will draw personal peace messages on small clay tiles. Alternatively, participants will do face imprints on a tile to show their personal rise for peace. All items assembled will create this unique and individual Peace Monument. The design is inspired by the Mesoamerican corn plant, which – unlike the corn we know – is full of colors. Everybody is welcome to join in and show the world its personal imagination of peace. No language barriers hinder people in joining the project – as „Floris Pax” uses imagery.
The artist Marcus Barwitzki:

"Art proves its quality in its social and temporal relevance!"

Shape and design

Monuments worldwide are characterized by the confrontation with events of the past. The large-scale sculpture Peace Monument „Floris Pax” (the peace flower) focuses on the conditions of a peaceful future.


The monument raises the difficult question:What can we do today to ensure tomorrows peace all over the world? The seven meter high and widely visible round column soars into the sky. The monument forms an oversized fruiting body by countless brightly colored glazed ceramic tiles and is surrounded by a green area.

From the pedestal, eight leaves grow up in a step-like manner, which, tilted to the floor, become expansive seating and invite visitors to sit down.
Inspired by the Mesoamerican corn plant, „Floris Pax” grows as sign of „most intense flowering” – a lush fruit body from countlessmulticolored grains.With this, „Floris Pax” forms a widely understandable and colorful Peace Monument through thousands of colored tiles.
The ancient crop maize, here a metaphor for „plenty for all“, is a symbol of fertility and life. Maize is food for billions of people in the world. Its seed is ingredient for bread and germ of new life, at the same time.
The image of closely packed,multicolored corn kernels are a symbol for a colorful, diverse and tolerant society. To illustrate this idea, each of the individual „seed grains“ forms the natural and three-dimensional face of a human being. Who, by this, becomes a permanent representative and public ally of peace.


Location Elbauenpark

During its more than 1,200-years old history, Magdeburg was almost completely destroyed twice. The first time on May 20, 1631 during the so-called „MagdeburgWedding” in the Thirty Years’War. And again on January 16, 1945, while the bombing during the SecondWorldWar. From the middle of the 19th to end of the 20th century the site of today’s Elbauenpark, the Cracauer Anger, served mainly military purposes. The barracks that was built there were used by theWehrmacht and later on by the Red Army. A dark time of the area was the destruction of Magdeburg on January 16, 1945. The cities debis was brought there and piled up to five meters high. At this place, were pieces of destroyed Magdeburg are resting, a peace monument is planned. It is supposed to show the massage: „We want peace!”.

What is peace?

Peace is something everyone in our world desires – regardless of religion, political orientation or way of life.

What is peace? The answer to this question seems abstract especially for young people in theWestern world, since we are currently living in the longest-lasting period of peace in the European Union. Often, peace is associated with the absence of war. However, this statement can only conditionally reflect what peace means. Everyone has its own idea of peace and does find peace in its own way. When asking for peace, one thing is common: Everybody has to contribute to achieve peace for everyone. This includes tolerance towards others, conflict resolutions without violence and the creation of foundations towards a dignified and peaceful life, without hunger and need.

Stand up for peace

The Peace Monument „Floris Pax” offers the opportunity to stand up for peace and make a statement with your own face. 500 faces will be visible on the pillar of the monument. These are 500 facial expressions of people who engage for peace and, focus on what we have in common instead of what separates us.

Stand up for peace
Stand up for peace
Stand up for peace

Message for peace

Artistic interpretations of the concept of peace can be found on 2,000 small tiles in the base of the Peace Monument „Floris Pax”. From a distance, all tiles appears differently. However, a closer look reveals that a recurring theme runs through the graphic design, revealing thatmany people have an idea of peace that coincides with ideas of others. The images in our heads might be differently, but the philosophy of peace is the same. Tile by tile, each participant creates an individual work of art, which becomes part of the whole artwork. Regardless of the education level, language, ancestry or ethnic group, the viewer can understand the imagery of „Floris Pax”.

Message for peace
Message for peace
Message for peace