Art & Ozone: Statue of Ancient Goddess Highlights Modern Climate Challenges Thu, Apr 26, 2012

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Beijing/Nairobi, 26 April 2012 - A new statue of a mythical Chinese goddess, which is designed to raise awareness of ozone protection, has been unveiled in a Beijing public park, thanks to a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners.

Players from the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team joined local schoolchildren for the launch of the statue. The sportsmen led the children in producing a special painting for the occasion.

The 3.9 metre high sculpture, which depicts the Goddess Nüwa, was produced by artist and UNEP Patron for Arts and Environment Yuan Xikun. It was unveiled earlier this week during a "Green Transformation" event, organized by UNEP and the Champion of the Water Alliance.

In Chinese mythology, Nüwa smelted a seven colour stone to block a hole in the sky to repair the wall of heaven. Yuan Xikun chose the figure of Nüwa to draw parallels with modern-day challenges of ozone depletion and climate change.

Three players and the official mascot of the Harlem Globetrotters, representatives from IUCN, Beijing Yiyuan, Earth Day Network and other groups attended the launch event in Beijing.

Besides Yuan Xikun's sculpture, paintings created by students from School of Humanities at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications were also displayed.

Prior to its unveiling in Beijing, the sculpture was displayed at Times Square in New York earlier this month.

Last November, during the Montreal Protocol conference in Bali, Indonesia,  delegates presented Yuan Xikun with rocks from various regions of the world and water from two polar regions. These elements were used by the artist to create the sculpture.

For more information, please contact:

UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel +254 207623088 or Email:

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