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“The Knotted Gun” by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

"The Knotted Gun" by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

“Non-Violence” by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

“The Knotted Gun” by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd is a bronze sculpture of an oversized Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver with its muzzle tied in a knot.

The formal title of the sculpture is “Non-Violence,” and it was inspired following the artist’s grief at the murder of the musician John Lennon, formerly of the Beatles,

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd made this original sculpture after the killing of John Lennon, and one copy was initially located at the Strawberry Fields memorial for Lenon in Central Park.

In 1988, Luxembourg donated the original sculpture to the United Nations, and it was moved and installed outside of the headquarters of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

According to Kofi Annan, the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations:

“It has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man; that which asks not for victory, but peace.”

Since 1993, the sculpture has been the symbol of The Non-Violence Project (NVPF), a nonprofit organization that promotes social change through violence-prevention education programs.

There are currently 31 copies of this sculpture around the world. Locations include:

  • Sweden – 14 locations
  • Unites States (Original) – New York City – Headquarters of the United Nations
  • Luxembourg – Kirchberg – Parc Central
  • China – Beijing -Chaoyang Park
  • Germany- Berlin – Federal Chancellery
  • France – Caen Mémorial de Caen
  • Switzerland – Lausanne – Olympic Museum
  • South Africa – Cape Town Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
  • Mexico – Mexico City – Mexipuerto Shopping Mall and 683 Calle Ferrocarril de Cuernavaca Polanco
  • India – Chennai – Perambur, ICF
  • Georgia – Rukhi – Senaki, Leselidze Highway
  • Lebanon – Beirut – Seafront
  • Northern Ireland – Belfast Girdwood Community Hub

Non-Violence sculpture in front of UN headquarters NY

Murder of John Lennon

On the evening of 8 December 1980, English musician John Lennon, formerly of the Beatles, was fatally shot in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City.

The perpetrator stated that he was incensed by Lennon’s lifestyle and public statements.

As the news rolled out across the world, there was a worldwide outpouring of grief that ensued on an unprecedented scale.

Strawberry Fields Memorial

Strawberry Fields is a 2.5-acre (1.0 ha) landscaped section in New York City’s Central Park that is dedicated to the memory of former Beatles member John Lennon.

It is named after the Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” written by Lennon. The song itself is named for the former Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool, England, located near Lennon’s childhood home.

The Non-Violence Project (NVPF)

The Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire, motivate, and engage young people on how to solve conflicts peacefully.

It holds violence prevention and nonviolence education programs for schools and sports clubs around the world.

Its logo is the iconic Knotted Gun sculpture named Non-Violence. It has educated eight million students, teachers, and sports coaches with programs covering three main subjects: conflict management, self-esteem building, and nonviolence.

Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono are, among others, ambassadors of the Non-Violence Project.

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd (1934 – 2016) was a Swedish painter and sculptor.

Reuterswärd is best known for his sculpture showing a revolver tied in a knot, called Non-violence, on display outside the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York City.

Non-Violence – The Knotted Gun

  • Title:                     Non-Violence
  • Also:                    The Knotted Gun
  • Artist:                   Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd
  • Created:              1985
  • Medium:              Bronze
  • Dimensions:         50 feet (15.2 m) tall and weighs 162 short tons (147 t)
  • Type:                    Public Sculpture
  • Location:              United Nation, New York 31 copies in many other cities
  • City:                      New York

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

  • Name:              Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd
  • Born:                1934, Sweden
  • Died:                2016 (aged 81), Landskrona, Sweden
  • Nationality:      Swedish
  • Notable Works

A Virtual Tour of the Top Sculptures

Non-Violence Sculptures (Knotted Gun) Worldwide

Knotted Gun ( Non-Violence), de Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

The Story of the Knotted Gun


“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
– Pablo Picasso


Photo Credit 1) Phil Whitehouse from London, United Kingdom / CC BY creativecommons; ZhengZhou / CC BY-SA CreativeCommons.

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