a monumental installation by Scottish artist Janis Hart of 140,000 peace cranes of hope and resilience

curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Heather Kiernan as part of Peace & Justice Peace Cranes project

6 August – 13 November 2021

Monday – Saturday 10:30am – 4pm excluding Wednesdays 11am – 11:30am

St. John’s Church, Princes St, Edinburgh, EH1 4BJ

Free entry. Open to all. Donations welcome here

Grab your last chance to visit the Peace Cranes exhibition on 13 November 2021 and join us for a Saturday matinee with the award-winning winning actor and playwright Michael Mears and a live reading of his new play The Mistake weaving in the stories of the soldiers, scientists and survivors of the first atomic bomb. Free admission. BOOK YOUR FREE TICKET HERE

Peace Cranes exhibition banner installation view © Iliyana Nedkova. Courtesy of the author

Would you like to make an origami peace crane? Join one of our Peace Cranes exhibition volunteer guides daily 1-3pm. No need to book. Just drop in.

Alternatively, tune in our online origami peace crane folding masterclass with Shoji Masuzawa

Download our free exhibition and events brochure here


The Peace Cranes exhibition features a monumental installation by Scottish artist Janis Hart transforming the heritage space of St John’s Church into a bird sanctuary to 140,000 origami paper cranes folded by people from across the UK, France, Canada, New Zealand and Japan over the last six years. The exhibition offers a space for wonder, hope and reflection on the 140,000 victims of the 1945 atomic bombings in Hiroshima and the great acceleration of species extinction through the origami symbol of the endangered red-crowned crane.

Installation View © Written in Film Productions. Courtesy of Just Festival

Origami cranes are an icon of hope for peace because of two year old Sadako Sasaki who lived in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped and later developed leukaemia. Hearing a legend that anyone who folded 1,000 origami cranes would get a wish Sadako set out to do so but soon died. Since Sadako’s wish for peace summed up in her words: ‘I will write peace on your wings and you will ffy over the world’, this life-affirming act of folding origami cranes have become a global sign of hope for nuclear disarmament.

In 2015 Atsuko Betchaku wanted to make 140,000 cranes to commemorate Sadako and all who died from the Hiroshima bomb. Atsuko died in 2017. Her vision is realized in this exhibition and the accompanying events transforming this icon of peace into a plea for protecting the biodiversity on our planet. READ MORE HERE

For further details, please download our Peace Cranes Exhibition Information Panels  or read them below


Peace Cranes exhibition intsallation view © Victoria Murray. Courtesy of the artist

What some of our 7,165 (and counting) visitors since 6 August 2021 are saying about their in-person experience of our Peace Cranes exhibition:
‘Can highly recommend sheltering under the wings of 140,000 peace cranes in Peace & Justice #PeaceCranes exhibition at St John’s Church. A welcome space to pause for thought amidst the magnitude of world events.’
Jean Cameron
Screenshot from an image by Janina Dolny published on BBC News in the section Your pictures of Scotland: 27 August – 3 September 2021
‘Come, see and reflect. And even fold your own origami crane. Join the movement. Stop the war. Stop the climate change.’
Magdalena Grzymkowska
Peace Cranes exhibition intsallation view of Make a Peace Cranes drop-in workshops. Image by Victoria Murray. Courtesy the artist
‘When I visited I made an emerald crane (a bit cack-handed as we say in Ireland) and was thrilled to see so many youngsters learning a new skill in such an important context. They won’t forget that. So often it’s the side-step that makes an impact.’
Anne Connolly
‘This monumental show is a beautiful spectacle, but hard facts are presented too, including information on the UK’s involvement in international arms trade, and recorded stories from Hiroshima survivors.’
Donna Rddington
‘Such a beautiful and powerful way to deliver an important message.’
Jim Mackintosh
‘The diversity of colour and shape challenging us all to see and understand the other.’
Revd Markus Dünzkofer
Robert Motyka


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