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Art installation to remember the 600,000 killed in Belgium

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Posted on March 19 2018

Flanders Fields will soon be home to a new art installation comprised of 600,000 sculptures – one for each of the lives lost in Belgium during the First World War.

Each egg-shaped sculpture, made in Belgium by people from all around the world, comes with its own military style dog tag engraved with two names: that of its maker and that of the soldier or civilian killed. In this way, each sculpture connects the past with the present in a literal way.

Titled, ‘Coming World Remember Me’, the installation is the work of curator Jan Moeyaert and artist Koen Vanmechelen and can be viewed at Palingbeek Park (Zillebeke) from 30 March to 11 November 2018.

Moeyaert told Newsweek: “…the project is not really a ‘war project’ but more a ‘peace project.”

“…the project is not really a ‘war project’ but more a ‘peace project.”

The total area of the installation is three hectares covering Ypres no-man’s land and the Bluff – one of the most heavily fought-over locations during the First World War.

Visitors can walk around the installation amid the rolling and woody landscape of the natural reserve of the Palingbeek. The walk culminates in a breath-taking panorama over the impressive land-art installation from a viewing platform.

At various rest points along the route, people can listen to audio of war poetry and reflect on the experience of the soldiers who fought at Flanders.

The installation will also feature two large works of art by the artist behind the project, Koen Vanmechelen.

In an interview with Newsweek Vanmechelen said the installation was intended to remind people of the pointlessness of war.

“Because the war is always somewhere else. … I think it’s important to do this remembering—it’s part of our history, part of our DNA. It makes us clearer on how to avoid a war like this in the future. I think it’s part of education.”

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