Argentine goldsmith Juan Carlos Pallarols is creating beautiful roses and other pieces of art from bullets, pistols and even parts of airplanes from the Falkland Islands war as a way of promoting peace between his country and Britain.
The self-proclaimed pacifist is also known for crafting the presidential batons of Argentine presidents and the chalice of Pope Francis. His latest project fuses weapons donated by families of the Argentine and British war dead and is called two roses for peace.
The idea is to transform the material of war into objects of art and peace, Pallarols said at his workshop in Buenos Aires.
Bullets shells of FAL rifles, 9 mm pistols, anti-aircraft ammunitions, and parts of C-130 Hercules and Mirage III airplanes have been melted in an oven at Pallarols' workshop, where the 74-year-old artist turns them into stems and petals of roses paying homage to the war dead.
The airplane bullets are an excuse, he said. What I want is to fuse the hearts and love of the people. I want love to fuse. That will be the real success of all of this.
In all, the war claimed the lives of 649 Argentines and 255 British soldiers and three Falkland Islanders.
Veterans and families of the war dead on both sides have agreed to place one of the roses at the Darwin cemetery of Argentine soldiers and another at the British cemetery. A third one will be thrown into the ocean inside a heavy lead box so it will sink at the same coordinates where the General Belgrano Argentine naval ship was sunk by British torpedoes, killing more than 300 of its crew members.
A fourth rose will be taken to Bahia Agradable/Pleasant Bay, the location of bloody fighting during the war. A last one will remain in the local cemetery of the island in memory of three civilian women killed during the conflict.
In a breakthrough after decades of strained relations, Argentina and Britain recently agreed to launch a multinational team of forensics under the Red Cross that will identify the remains of more than 100 unknown Argentine soldiers buried in a cemetery after the war.
”We have so many things in common with the (British), Pallarols said If we were to take out everything from Argentina that is influenced by the English, we'd be left very sad we wouldn't have football, polo, rugby, and rock! It's better to be friends and not fight at all.