June 20, 2019

Canada Justice Minister and ICC President unveil artwork donation

The Canadian delegation and ICC representatives in front of the artwork donated to the Court. Right: The Inukshuk realised by artist Heather Carroll ©ICC-CPI.

On 7 March 2018, The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, together with Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), unveiled an artwork donation from the Government of Canada to the ICC.

The ceremony was held at the seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands, in the presence of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart, ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel, ICC judges and the President of the Assembly of States Parties O-Gon Kwon together with the Canadian ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Mrs. Sabine Eva Nölke. The artist Heather Carroll was also present and Canadian Inuit throat singers Charlotte Qamaniq and Kathleen Merritt performed during the Ceremony.

The artwork realised by Heather Carroll is an Inukshuk, i.e. a stone landmark made of piled boulders traditionally constructed by the Inuit people in the Arctic regions of Northern Canada. In the Inuktitut language, the term Inukshuk means “to act in the capacity of a human”, and the traditional meaning of Inukshuk translates as “you are on the right path”. Inuksuit are used to mark a place of respect or even signify a place of power.

“The Inukshuk is an eternal symbol of the Canadian North. The sculpture’s Indigenous origins highlight the diversity and inclusion that Canadians value,” said The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, during the Ceremony. “The stones symbolize co-operation, strength and harmony, embodying the focus and the spirit of purpose that is the International Criminal Court. This gift demonstrates Canada’s support for the Court”.  

“It is a great pleasure to accept a gift from Canada, a country that has been a champion of the ICC from the very beginning,” said ICC President Fernández during the Ceremony. “The Inukshuk is a beautiful expression of hope for the future, as Inukshuk means that ‘you are on the right path’. I hope that in the years to come, State Parties, civil society and the Court will continue their journey on this path together to ensure accountability for the gravest crimes, to help prevent them from happening, and to provide justice to victims.”

Since the move to its new permanent premises in December 2015, the ICC received artwork donations from the Governments of Belgium, Japan, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Senegal, Slovenia and Tunisia, representing their cultural heritage as well as reflecting the mandate of the Court.


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