A small victory for art

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- (Credit: REUTERS)A machine gun barrel to fashion dainty dragonfly? Sounds absurd? But graduates of Baghdad University's College of Fine Arts say their project takes objects that have brought devastation to Iraq and uses them to create instead. "It's a message from Baghdad to the world: we are transforming pieces of destruction into pieces of art," said sculptor Haider Muwafaq, laying down a blow torch he used to turn steel bars into an abstract model of an old Baghdad neighbourhood.

The artists are unlikely to run out of material. Each day, the Iraqi Mine/Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Organization (IMCO) destroys about 800 weapons, including AK-47 rifles, old-style British Bren guns, mortar rounds and belt-fed machine guns collected by US forces during raids.

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