World Peace Statue - Grandcamp-Maisy - WWII
The World Peace Statue stands at the entrance of the village of Grandcamp-Maisy, along the road leading to Vierville-sur-Mer.
Grandcamp-Maisy was part of the Atlantic Wall, the defense system the Germans put in place in order to block the Allied invasion.
It was therefore a strategic location for the Germans.
They installed two batteries - code-named La Martine and Les Perruques by the Allies - which were from range of fire from Omaha and Utah.
Mine fields and anti tank lines defended these two batteries.
The Germans set up a third battery in the village, a couple of weeks before D-Day.
Tragically, the Allied bombardment conducted in the early hours of D-Day didn't managed to neutralize the batteries, which opened fire on the American troops landing on Utah.
The Allied Navy eventually destroyed them on June 7.
The battery site was back-filled after the war; however, Garry Stern rediscovered it, thanks to old German ordnance survey maps.
Stern bought the land and founded an open-air museum that extends over an area of 2.5 miles.
The German trenches, bunkers and various equipment allow visitors to travel back in time and experience the conditions under which the soldiers fought.
A Ranger Monument was also inaugurated on the site of the Maisy Battery.
World Peace Statue, a gift from the Chinese sculptor Yao Yuan
Yao Yuan is a worldwide acclaimed Chinese sculptor, who was sentenced to work in a factory during the Cultural Revolution and later devoted his life and work for World Peace.
He therefore created a Statue of Peace for Korea in 1995 and one for Russia in 2000.
In 2011 he created the stainless-steel statue that stands on the Friendship Square in Beijing.
He depicted Peace as a young woman, who releases a dove.
His statue has now become the symbol of peace and friendship in China.
Yao Yuan dedicated his Grandcamp-Maisy World Peace Statue to all those who fought in Normandy during WWII and donated the sculpture to the Normandie Region.
This beautiful masterpiece is a more elaborate and larger replica of the Beijing statue.
Twenty Chinese workers from Yao Yuan's workshops were especially flown to Normandy in order to install the 8-tone statue.
Chinese Flying Goddess - Christian Angel of Peace
Yao Yuan once more depicted World Peace as a young woman.
She turns into a magic bird that spreads its graceful wings and releasing the Dove of Peace.
Yao Yuan successfully combined Asian an Western art.
His young woman could indeed be seen as the Chinese Flying Goddess or the Christian Angel of Peace.
She is represented in the manner of a fluid calligraphy, which not only means Harmony and Balance, Serenity, Tranquility and Calm, but also gives lightness to the statue.
Yao Yuan's World Peace Statue reflects the great basic principle of Asiatic thought, the Ying and the Yan of Existence or Harmony.
The artist produced perfect balance between symmetry, the symbol of Tranquility and Stability, and asymmetry symbol of Grace and Fluidity.
Two Chinese characters are engraved in the front of the World Peace Statue.
The first means Modesty and Harmony, the second Peace and Tranquility.
Yao Yuan engraved it also with two letters:
V for Victory; the branches of the V spread out in the manner of two arms wrapped around the World.
W for World, Worship and Warm.
This quest for eternal World Peace and Brotherhood carries a powerful symbolic message that calls on all Nations to unite.
Symbolism of the colours
The colours Yao Yuan used carry also strong symbolism.
The white steel and the sky blue are the colours of Peace and Reason in the face of injustice and war.
The red granite of the statue's pedestal obviously symbolizes blood, all the Blood shed during the war.
The green of the lawn, where the World Peace Statue stands, relates to Tranquility, Serenity.
Green is also the colour of the Norman meadows.
Finally, the silver of the statue symbolizes the Eternity of Peace.
As she takes off, the young woman sends us a message of Hope:
"When we all want peace,
Why is the world full of conflict?
Why are endless wars still ravaging the earth?
Why do famine, poverty and plague still keep humanity in bondage?"
Her prayer is simple:
"Citizens of this global community love our earth!
Together let us stop war and live in harmony!"
The moving unveiling ceremony of the Statue of World Peace took place on June 3, 2004 at 2pm.
It celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, in the presence of the French Minister of Parity and Equality in the Workplace, Mr. Zhao Jinjun the Chinese Ambassador of China to France and officials of the Allied Nations with the surviving American Rangers as Guests of Honour.
The Peregory Monument stands near the World Peace Statue.
The officer indeed attacked a group of German soldiers on June 8, 1944.
He killed eight and captured thirty-five of them on that spot.
Sergeant Peregory was killed in action six days later.
He was posthumously rewarded the Medal of Honour, the highest U.S. military distinction.
Department of Calvados
Coordinates: Lat 49.386802 - Long -1.037059