New Delhi: When guns become roses, it makes music. Colombian rock musician Cesar Lopez, who is in the country to perform at the Delhi International Arts Festival, sings songs of peace with his gun-guitar — an AK-47 modified into a six-string electric guitar to symbolise the healing power of music.
Lopez, a UN messenger of non-violence in his home country, Colombia, donated his gun-guitar yesterday to the Gandhi memorial museum.
The gun-guitar joined the ranks of permanent peace memorabilia as a part of the United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)'s peace programme across the world, the musician said.
"I will ask the museum to return the guitar for a day on Tuesday [today] when I perform at the festival," the musician told IANS.
Lopez's instrument is one of the 17 gun-guitars in the world commissioned by the UN to campaign for peace in crime-prone and terrorism-ravaged nations.
"There is one such guitar in Berlin, one at the Unesco office in New York and one each in Brazil, Argentina and Vienna," the musician said. The guitar has been crafted by a Lutheran priest from an old AK-47 rifle that the UN gave Lopez.
"The work is very complex. The bullet-chamber of the gun, the trigger and the safety latch had to be sealed off and a wooden string board with the frets had to be fitted to the gun to put the strings.
"After stringing the gun, we had to wait to see whether the tension of the strings was right," Lopez said.