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Province's draft dodgers immortalized in clay

War resisters statue unveiled at City Hall

Kristen Thompson/For Metro Vancouver

Sculptor Naomi Lewis and Isaac Romano, director of the Our Way Home institute, smile beside The Welcoming Peace Sculpture, created to honour American war deserters, outside Vancouver City Hall yesterday.

By Kristen Thompson for Metro Vancouver

Published: October 4th, 2006

The director of a British Columbia-based draft-dodgers institution was outside Vancouver City Hall yesterday to unveil a statue designed to honour American war resisters seeking refuge in Canada.

This final version of a clay statue had been in the works for two years.

Isaac Romano, director of the Our Way Home Institute, an organization that provides assistance to war resisters, veterans and their families, is talking with civic leaders in the Lower Mainland to find a home for a sixt-nine-foot duplicate of the sculpture.

Sculptor Naomi Lewis said the peice, which depicts two people being welcomed into a man's open arms, is intended to remind people of Canada's role as a refuge for people seeking non-violent solutions to conflict.

According to Romano, an estimated 200 of the roughly 40,000 Iraq War deserters have come to Canada since 2000.