Good Defeats Evil is a sculpture that stand 39 feet high and weighs 40 tons. It was created by Zurab Tsereteli and presented to the United Nations in 1990 as the USSR committed to end the Cold War. There are three prominent focal points to this sculpture – St. George representing good, and pieces of Soviet SS20 and United States Pershing II nuclear missiles representing the evil. It is interesting to note that the sculptor used the figure of St. George the dragon slayer. St. George is a recognized saint in the Catholic religion. He was canonized for being a martyr for his faith in the 3rd Century, but there are many myths related to St. George. The most famous is him fighting a dragon in Libya in the city of Silene – he slayed the dragon and then converted the city to Christianity. The story of St. George and the dragon was chronicled during the 13th Century in Legenda Autrea (Golden Legend) by Archbishop Jacobus de Voragine of Genoa. St. George is represented as a knight with a spear pointed towards a dragon under the feet of his rearing horse. Therefore, St. George represents the good. Mr. Tsereteli used the dragon’s body to portray evil. There is the head of a dragon with the body made of Soviet SS20 and Pershing II missiles as the part of the dragon’s body that is being split in half by St. George’s spear. The Soviet SS20 and Pershing II missiles were used until the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty of 1987. The United Nations had a primary role ushering in the nuclear disarmament starting with the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons signed by the USSR, United Kingdom and the USA in 1968 to the (INF) treaty of 1987. If you are ever in New York City, take time to see the United Nations Building and all the sculptures. Good Defeats Evil uses the traditional bronze and the material of both missiles. The location of the sculpture is at the Visitors’ Entrance on First Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets – turn left and follow the path that runs along First Avenue. It is on the left. Yes, it is a grand sculpture, but 18 years later the world has changed. But, will the world ever learn? That is a question for the ages.
Posted in: Words of Wisdom