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Verdin to Create Peace Bell
for World Choir Games

Verdin's Foundry to Cast Bell in October

The Cincinnati-based Verdin Co. has been chosen to design and manufacture a peace bell for the 2012 World Choir Games, which will be July 4-14 in Cincinnati.

The peace bell is one of the signature symbols of the international choral competition, which will bring 20,000 participants from more than 70 countries here next year. Developed by Interkultur, the Germany-based founder of the World Choir Games, the first peace bell debuted at the first World Choir Games in 2000 in Linz, Austria. It is rung at the opening and closing ceremonies of the games, calling for all participating countries to sing and celebrate together in peace.

"The Peace Bell is such an important part of the World Choir Games," Dan Lincoln, director of the Cincinnati organizing committee for the games and president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in an announcement about the bell. "It's great to have a hometown company that specializes in creating works of art the way Verdin does."

Verdin was the only bell manufacturer the World Choir Games approached to make the bell, said Nick Vehr, managing director of the Cincinnati Organizing Committee for the games. He declined to disclose the cost of manufacturing the bell, calling it proprietary information. It will be paid for from the games' $10 million-$12 million operating budget, he said.

Verdin president Jim Verdin said the bronze bell will be three feet in diameter at its base and 34 inches tall. It will be etched with iconic Cincinnati buildings and landmarks that will serve as World Choir Games venues, such as Music Hall and Fountain Square.

Workers at Verdin's foundry on Kellogg Avenue will begin casting the bell in October and likely will finish making it about three months later, Verdin said. Once completed, the bell will be installed in a 10-foot tall framework and weigh about 1,000 pounds.

"We make thousands of bells, but this one has to be exactly perfect," Verdin said. "Lots of bells go up on church towers and you don't see them again. But this will be a piece of art."

Where the bell will end up after the games is to be determined.

"We are confident that this community will find an appropriate permanent home for the World Choir Games Peace Bell to commemorate for future generations this magnificent and historic event," Vehr said.

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