A Mexican artist has melted 1,527 guns down and used the metal to make shovels that have then been used to plant trees and have been displayed in museums all over the world.
Pedro Reyes launched the Palas por Pistolas (Shovels for Guns) project in 2007, asking residents of Culiacán, one of the cities with the highest rates of gun deaths in western Mexico, to give him their weapons in exchange for a coupon that they could use to purchase appliances or electronic devices, reports the Harvard Gazette.
In total, Reyes was able to collect 1,527 guns which were crushed with a steamroller on a military base. They were then melted down and Reyes made 1,527 shovels out of the metal.
Some of the shovels were distributed around the world so people could use them to plant hundreds of trees, while others were displayed in museums around the world like the San Francisco Art Institute, the Maison Rouge in Paris, and the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada, reports Healthy Food House.
“A cultural rejection of weapons as an industry must come about if we want to see real change in the prevalence of guns. Investing money in a company that makes weapons should be regarded as dirty—a sin. If you are investing in weapons, you are fueling death and suffering around the world. It should be a responsibility for everyone on earth to go on a crusade against guns,” Reyes said of his project.
Reyes also created another project in which he used guns seized by the police in Juarez to make musical instruments. He said he did it because “music is the exact opposite of weapons.”