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Changing the tune: Serbian artist turns weapons into instruments

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Every week, Serbian sculptor Nikola Macura wanders through a military junkyard in search of discarded rifles, helmets and missiles which he brings back to his studio and turns into musical instruments.

Hailing from the Balkans, a region that still bears scars from the 1990s wars unravelled Yugoslavia, the 42-year-old is trying to transform these forces of destruction into vessels of creation.

He has already successfully converted a bazooka and army gas bucket into a cello, created a guitar out of a Zastava M70 rifle and a Yugoslav army helmet, and assembled a violin by using a automatic rifle magazine and a first aid kit.

His supply is vast. After the wars, depots selling decommissioned army equipment for pennies are a common sight around the country.

These graveyards are home to deactivated guns, bombs and gas masks, as well as combat vehicles, radars and even huge chunks of airplanes.

The sculptor’s goal is to create a full orchestra that would travel and play throughout the region, with war veterans as some of the musicians.

He has already recruited veteran and visual artist Srdjan Sarovic, who likes to jam on the guitar made from a M70 rifle and a Yugoslav Army helmet.

Macura next wants turn an army tank into a percussion instrument for five musicians and paint it pink.