In Brazil, muralist and orchestra call for peace in Ukraine

March 6, 2022 GMT
Backdropped by a mural by graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra performs to mark the anniversary of late Brazilian musician Heitor Villa-Lobos and calling for peace in Ukraine at the Municipal Theater, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Backdropped by a mural by graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra performs to mark the anniversary of late Brazilian musician Heitor Villa-Lobos and calling for peace in Ukraine at the Municipal Theater, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Backdropped by a mural by graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra performs to mark the anniversary of late Brazilian musician Heitor Villa-Lobos and calling for peace in Ukraine at the Municipal Theater, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
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Backdropped by a mural by graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra performs to mark the anniversary of late Brazilian musician Heitor Villa-Lobos and calling for peace in Ukraine at the Municipal Theater, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
1 of 4
Backdropped by a mural by graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra performs to mark the anniversary of late Brazilian musician Heitor Villa-Lobos and calling for peace in Ukraine at the Municipal Theater, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian muralist and graffiti artist joined with the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra to make a plea, using colors and sound, for the end of war in Ukraine.

“What we want here is peace, tolerance, respect and we’re going to bring some of this message through the composers, the conductor, the paintings,” artist Eduardo Kobra said before the performance Saturday night at the city’s municipal theater.

To the sound of violins, cellos and the voice of the soprano interpreting compositions by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, Kobra retouched three murals featuring his characteristic style of colorful shapes overlaid on images. One was a take on Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.

“I myself have relatives in Ukraine who may come to Brazil, and Brazil will welcome them with open arms, as will this symbol of our country, Christ the Redeemer,” Maestro Roberto Minczuk said.

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Minczuk also expressed solidarity with Russian artists who have been barred from participating at cultural events around the world after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro expressed solidarity with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on a recent visit, and has said Brazil will retain a neutral stance in the conflict. At the same time, Brazil voted to condemn the invasion at the United Nations.

On Friday, Brazil’s government said it will issue temporary humanitarian visas and residency permits for Ukrainian nationals and other individuals who have been affected or displaced by the conflict. ___

Álvares reported from Brasilia.