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31 October 2010

See the Tree of Life at the British Museum

Located in the subterranean Sainsbury Galleries, the British Museum's Africa section, the Tree of Life is a sculpture made in Mozambique from decommissioned weapons.

The creation of Mozambican artists Cristovao Canhavato (Kester), Hilario Nhatugueja, Fiel dos Santos and Adelino Serafim Maté, the sculpture was made as part of the Transforming Arms into Tools project, which aims to eliminate the threat presented by the hidden weapons.

It highlights the millions of weapons which arrived in Mozambique during the country's civil war, many of which remain hidden or buried in the bush. The project encourages Mozambicans to hand them over in exchange for more useful everyday items like ploughs, bicycles and sewing machines. We are told that, in one case, a whole village gave up its weapons in exchange for a tractor.

The Tree of Life is in Room 25, and is free to visit. For more, see here.


  1. Interesting. Very cool.
    Thanks for sharing.
    This is definitely being added to the list of things to check out.