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Art initiative highlights Australia's conflicted stance on nuclear weapons

A touring exhibition reminds Australians that the nuclear issue is as vital today as in the 1950s

The "Black Mist, Burnt Country" exhibition features works by artists reflecting on nuclear testing in Australia in the 1950s and '60s. (Photo by David Hopkins)

MELBOURNE -- Australia's decision to skip recent negotiations on a global nuclear weapons ban appears at odds with domestic public opinion at a time when an art exhibition highlighting the country's dark past as a nuclear testing ground is touring nationally.

In late March, representatives from more than 115 countries gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York to negotiate a legally binding nuclear weapons ban that advocates say is the most promising step toward nuclear disarmament since the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was adopted almost five decades ago. Presiding over the negotiations, Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez of Costa Rica said on March 30 that the adoption of a treaty during the second round of talks scheduled to begin in June was "an achievable goal."

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