Large number of bears stand, paws aloft, in central Rīga

140 large plastic bears have been installed in the center of Riga's historic Old Town.

They are painted in various ways by artists. Their temporary presence is a centenary gift from Germany and they are known as 'Berlin Bears' or 'United Buddy Bears'. They have already been to 30 other cities around the world.

According to the bears' website: "The Buddy Bears stand together “hand in hand”, symbolising the future vision of a peaceful world. Each bear stands for the people of the different countries and their culture, yet not for political systems."

The bears stand on two legs with their front paws raised. They will stay in place until August 22nd. Here are some pictures of them.


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