Today I stumbled on an explanation that I discovered from the UN Visitor's Guide. The title of the art work is "Good Defeats Evil" and it is a gift from the Soviet Union in 1990 and the artist is Zurab Tsereteli. The description from the UN site is as follows:
[The statue] is a vivid symbol of the post-Cold War period as the dragon is created from fragments of Soviet and United States nuclear missiles destroyed by a 1987 treaty.
If one looks closely to the dragon figure, missile parts make up its body. In other words, the dragon represents war, especially nuclear war. This message comes when both North Korea and Russia have launched missiles in the past few days, where Russia has clearly violated the 1987 treaty.
We might ask ourselves what are our thoughts about war? What sort of burden of guilt and responsibility do I carry when there is a war? (See The Wars in the World website--www.warsintheworld.com--currently lists sixty-seven wars in progress.) I conclude with a poem from "Target Equals City" by the social critic and Trappist monk Thomas Merton:
There is one winner, only one winner, in war.
The winner is war itself.
Not truth, not justice, not liberty, not morality.
These are the vanquished.
(Photo by Robert Dueweke, United Nations, NY)