April 16 The National Art Collection of Dresden in eastern Germany held the unveiling ceremony of a statue of a comfort woman and girl on the 15th. The exhibition of the two statues of teenage girls, organized by Korean civic groups, is the first to be displayed in a Museum in Europe. The group also led the campaign to install images of teenage girls in central Berlin last year (2020).
According to Japan’s Daily News and Yomiuri Shimbun, the collection has curated an exhibition of paintings on the theme of violence under World War II, which runs from April 16 to early August. In addition to portraits of comfort women and girls, works showing the Nazis’ killing of Jews, the Yugoslav Civil War, etc. are also on display. After the exhibition, the statue of a young girl placed in the atrium of the collection will continue to be on display until April next year for a period of one year.
“We hope that through the art exhibition, all those who have experienced sexual violence will be encouraged to support the theme of ‘Breaking the Silence’ created by artists,” said the president of the Korean Civic Group at a press conference held on the 15th. South Korean civic groups also said they hoped the girls on display would be on permanent display like the one set up in Berlin. In response, the Japanese Embassy in Germany protested: “The display of the statue of the girl is contrary to our position, deeply regret.” We have made our position clear to those concerned and hope to understand it. ”
At the end of last year (2020), the Mitte Council in the German capital, Berlin, voted by a majority in favour to pass a resolution aimed at permanently preserving the image of a girl victim of peace. After the adoption of the resolution, the city of Berlin may permanently retain the statue of a girl of peace in the future. The girls wrote in English, “In World War II, the Japanese forcibly took the girls and women and used them as sex slaves.”