Guam- Security Title Co-Founders Kim and Ron Young have made a special donation to the Archdiocese of Agana Monday.
They presented a smaller replica of the “Birds of Peace” to Monsignor James Benavente at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica Pastoral Center to display in the future Archdiocese Museum.
The original life size version of the two porcelain swans were given to Chairman Mao and the Chinese people in 1972 by former President Richard Nixon. Only three sculptures were made in the world before its master mold was destroyed.
Two are displayed in museums in Beijing and the Vatican, which the Young’s have both seen. The third one was damaged after the White House loaned it to a Moscow exhibit.
About 200 smaller copies of the peace birds were made for collectors around the world. The Young family has had a copy since the late 70’s, but it wasn’t until a recent trip to the Vatican that they wanted to donate it to the church. Both say they wanted to link up the historical significance of the birds since many people from Guam take a pilgrimage to the Vatican.
“We thought of this when we were actually at the Vatican and in the Vatican Museum, walking through the museum,” said Ron Young. “And I think we were in the hall of maps and there were the birds. It was a like a light bulb went off for both of us. We said we have to go home and give these birds to the church.”
“It’ll be a part of our collection of our national museum, of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica Museum,” said Benavente. “It will be housed there and in your name and your contribution. We’ll take very good care of that.”
The young family says the original swans are at least three times the size of the replica that will be at the archdiocese.
Monsignor Benavente tells PNC the Archdiocese Museum will be open in the next few months. The sculptures and countless other pieces will be featured in the 7,000 square foot facility.