Palestinian Key of Return Moves to Berlin Art Exhibition

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By Ella David and Edra Arb for PNN

Today, Monday, a ceremony was held in Aida Refugee Camp outside Bethlehem to mark the departure of the "Key of Return" from Palestine to Germany. It is going to be exhibited in the seventhBerlin Biennale, which is one of the world's most prestigious Art fairs. The exhibition takes place between the 27th April and 1st July 2012.

The key is considered a national symbol of the Palestinians' displacement and a witness of their ongoing suffering since 1948; when millions of them were made refugees due to the creation of the Israeli state.

Around 500 people attended the celebration and watched the key being dismantled from its home on top of the Gate of Return, the entrance to Aida Refugee Camp. The key is the biggest in the world.

Speakers addressed the importance of the key and how it symbolized Palestinians' right of return. This was followed by a Dabka performance – a traditional Palestinian dance. When the key had been transferred onto a lorry, people wrote people wrote messages on it and draped it in the German and Palestinian flags. After the ceremony, the key left the camp to be paraded through surrounding towns.

The key will make its way to the Israeli border before being shipped to Germany.

"The aim of this campaign from the beginning was to position the Palestinian cause on the international agenda and to raise the awareness of Palestinian rights. Israel is not committed to peace. Day by day the settlements are expanding which leads to the confiscation of Palestinian land. This decreases the chance of refugees being able to return to their homes... We want the European people visiting this exhibition to get to know about the refugee cause and to exert pressure on their governments to take steps towards finding a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict."IyadHamdan, member of the organizing committee for the Key of Return campaign.

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