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Yoko Ono wins Hiroshima Art Prize for peace promotion through art

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Yoko Ono, an avant-garde artist and the widow of former Beatle John Lennon, has been selected as the recipient of the eighth Hiroshima Art Prize for her contributions to world peace through contemporary art, the municipal government of Hiroshima said Friday.

The 77-year-old New York-based artist is known for actively speaking out for peace, making speeches in support of the abolishment of nuclear weapons when she attended the review conferences of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the United Nations in 2005 and 2010.

Ono released a comment through the city, saying, "The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were created by humans by themselves, and the humans also have the wisdom to eliminate their root causes," in reference to the 1945 atomic bombings of the two Japanese cities in World War II.

The award ceremony will be held next summer in Hiroshima. The city will also hold an exhibition of Ono's artwork then.

The triennial prize, established in 1989, has been given to artists including Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake and Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang.

Meanwhile, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said at a press conference the same day that the city will continue with its "Obamajority" anti-nuclear weapons campaign, amid controversy over a recent U.S. subcritical nuclear test, the first under President Barack Obama.

"We won't judge based on just one subcritical nuclear test that (President Obama's) determination for banning nuclear weapons has disappeared," Akiba said, but added he has protested to the United States over the test as it violated "the expectations of global citizens."

(Mainichi Japan) October 23, 2010

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