A bridge of peace between Venice and Beirut through the drawing of five hundred children

12 October 2021

Venice, October 8, 2021- Five hundred children turn the spotlight on the question of peace and build a bridge that strengthens friendship and solidarity between two cities connected by the Mediterranean. From Venice to Beirut, passing through the Covid era: the pupils of seven different primary schools mark the beginning of the international educational project “Disegni a 1000 mani, Venezia-Beirut” (A hundred hands drawings, Venice-Beirut), which takes part into the celebrations for the 1600 years from the foundation of Venice. Art becomes the universal language, a symbol of peace that connects Italy and Lebanon. 

Born by the idea of Nadia De Lazzari, chairwoman of the association “Venezia: pesce di pace” (Venice: the fish of peace), the event will take place on Tuesday, October 12 at 10AM, at the Giardini Reali (Royal Gardens) of Venice, when kids will cross the drawbridge, which connects the Giardini to the Marciana area, as a symbolic gesture of closeness to all the children of the world. The drawings, containing messages of joy, friendship, and solidarity, will be hung on the historic pergola that crosses the Royal Gardens, surrounded by the magic and thick greenery. 

The project was launched around schools last year, in the midst of the pandemic, and it gains an even more deeper meaning since it was born in Venice, a city that has always been a crossroads of culture and intercultural dialogue between peoples, and that this year celebrate its 1600 anniversary from the foundation of the city. The proposed topics were two: “Venice and Beirut, our cities” and “Us at school: the Covid-19 pandemic”. Kids from the cities of Venice and Cavallino-Treporti drew on one side, while the overleaf was completed by kids from Beirut.

“30 years have passed since the first long-distance drawing we made together. It was by a kid from Venice and one from Sarajevo, a city that I visited 40 times during the war- says De Lazzari- last year, in the midst of the pandemic, with my mask on and respecting all the safety measures, I went around schools. It has been a challenging cultural project during a difficult time, but the support and collaboration of teachers and families have been crucial. The pupils have portrayed Venice, Cavallino-Treporti, Beirut and the Covid-19 pandemic. On the overleaf they wrote messages advising caution and inviting people to get vaccinated, so that they could still play and attend school in the future. Two little pupils summarized: you and I made a masterpiece. This is not a simple drawing; this is a lifelong commitment”.

The project was attended by 14 artists, seven from Italy and seven from Lebanon who, just as done by the children (one begins and the other complete), tried to connect East and West, each with their own style, and donate their works to the seven participating schools. The paintings, characterized by the harmony of lines and colors, underline the huge cultural, historical and artistic heritage of the two countries, strengthening cooperation and solidarity between the two.