Good news: Artist melts 1,527 guns, turns them into shovels for planting trees

August 21, 2015
Pedro Reyes finished molding recycled gun parts into shovels. (Courtesy of Pedro Reyes via Creative Commons License)

Pedro Reyes finished molding recycled gun parts into shovels. (Courtesy of Pedro Reyes via Creative Commons License)

By Brian Han

An artist made a statement against gun violence in his latest work by gathering 1,527 guns and melting them to make shovels used specifically to plant trees.

Pedro Reyes hails from Mexico where drug cartels are responsible for many civilian deaths so the project hit close to home.

Reyes went around Culiacán, Mexico asking residents to donate their firearms for the cause in exchange for coupons that could be used to buy household appliances or electronics. When he had finished the first step of his project, over 40 percent of the guns were military-grade automatic weapons.

He took the haul to a nearby military base, crushed the guns in front of an audience with a steamroller, then took the remains to a factory where he molded the metal into shovels.

Part of Pedro Reyes' haul (Courtesy of Pedro Reyes via Creative Commons License)

Part of Pedro Reyes’ haul (Courtesy of Pedro Reyes via Creative Commons License)

Some of the pieces made it into notable art galleries including the Vancouver Art Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, Maison Rouge in Paris and several other locations all around the globe.

The rest were given to public schools where they are being used to fulfill their original purpose of planting trees.

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