Few things are more complicated than trying to erect a new monument in the heart of Washington, D.C. Local committees, federal investigators, landmark boards, and one commission after another must approve each project. On September 9, 1997, a gigantic crane cut through all of the red tape encircling Judiciary Square and lowered a four-ton sculpture to its permanent cement base.
What made this particular installation remarkable was the biblical symbolism of the sculpture’s design. Titled “Guns into Plowshares,” this 16-foot-high steel plow blade consists of 3,000 handguns welded together to form the distinctive shape of the well-known farm implement. Artist Esther Augsburger and her son worked for two and a half years with the Metro Police Department. They molded handguns that had been surrendered by local residents.