A poignant and moving exhibition focused on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was formally opened last night at Edinburgh’s Central Library by the city’s Lord Provost and the Japanese Consul General.
The exhibition, Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic bombings: 65 Years On, is the result of a partnership between Edinburgh City Libraries and Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and will be on display in the Central Library until 11 March.
It features forty-eight panels which cover the background to the bombings, photographs of damage to the cities, the human cost and the ongoing challenges both cities face in the aftermath of the disaster.
Gifted by the recently retired mayor of Nagasaki to the NFLA, the exhibition has toured the UK since 2010, hosted in libraries, civic buildings and schools.
The Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, formally opened the exhibition last night with Japanese Consul General Masataka Tarahara.
He said: “The atomic bombings in 1945 devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their effects are still being felt today. It’s vitally important we continue to raise awareness not just the short term destruction but the lasting implications for the people and the planet as a whole. It is only through a full knowledge of the consequences that we can assure that such a tragic event never happens again.”
Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed between 90,000 to 166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 people In Nagasaki. These two events represent the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.
Currently around 50 councils across the UK support the NFLA’s policy work which aims to increase local accountability over national nuclear policy, identify the impact of national nuclear policy on local communities and work to minimise nuclear hazards and increase public safety.
Cllr Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture and Leisure Convener, said: “We’ve been pleased to work with the NFLA to bring this moving and informative exhibition to Edinburgh. This, coupled with the fantastic educational resources available at the Central Library, will help members of the public understand the issues around the atomic bombings, the appalling loss of human life and how this issue still resonates today.”