Atomic bomb piano takes centre stage at peace concert
A piano that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 is to take centre stage in a peace concert in New York.
A group of Japanese musicians have been loaned the piano from its owner Yoko Matsuba, an 84-year-old survivor of the nuclear bombing.
The piano will be used in a concert taking place in the autumn at the United Nations headquarters in New York in order to promote global peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The instrument was in the Hiroshima home of Matsuba when United States aircraft dropped the first atomic bomb over the city on 6 August, 1945.
Around 140,000 people were estimated to have been killed and 60 per cent of buildings in the city were destroyed, but both the piano and its owner managed to survive.
The piano, bought by Matsuba's mother in 1933, and sustained only slight damage after being toppled over by the explosion, despite its location only 1.3 km from ground zero.
Matsuba, who now lives in Sendai, north Japan, agreed to rent the piano to the group for one year, describing such a use as an "honour", according to Kyodo News.
Musicians involved in the piano project plan to perform concerts with peace-themed music in as many as 40 places in Japan using the historic instrument, including Kyoto and Nara.
The concerts will aim to raise the 20 million yen funds necessary to finance transportation costs for the performance to take place in the US in September, according to Makoto Kajita, 50, who has launched the project with backing from Hiroshima city government.
''We hope to convey how precious peace is through the beautiful sound of the 'atomic bomb piano' which survived that horrible experience," Mr Kajita told Kyodo News.
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