The Slovenia Times

United Buddy Bears

May 29 - Jul 17

145 two-metre-high bears, holding up their arms to spread friendship between the countries they represent will be put on show at Ljubljana's Republic Square as the capital hosts the United Buddy Bears exhibition for the first time.

The Slovenian bear has been created by young artist Luka Rep and represents an interplay of faces of different genders, nationalities, ages and cultures. The crowd of stylised faces highlights figures who have decisively shaped Slovenian cultural history.

The bears in Republic Square form the Third Paradise symbol created by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, which signifies a balanced connection between artifice and nature.

The Buddy Bears project was started by Eva and Klaus Herlitz in Berlin in June 2001 to help develop street art in Berlin, and then the Buddy Bears would become an unofficial symbol of Berlin. In 2002, artists from around the world created the United Buddy Bears circle of supporters in Berlin to encourage people to think about international understanding and peaceful coexistence.