OPCW exhibits WWI chemical armaments

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) opened an exhibition showcasing weaponry and other artifacts of chemical warfare agents that were used in the First World War on Tuesday in The Hague.

Among the artifacts are photos and paintings that depict chemical weapons used; the exhibit is comprised of items and documents from Germany, Latvia, Belgium, Poland and Russia. The exhibit, which runs until April 16, is part of a larger ongoing remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the first wide-scale use of chemical weapons.

According to OPCW, the use of these weapons caused approximately 100,000 fatalities and over one million injuries during the war. The types of weapons primarily consisted of gasses comprised of chlorine and phosgene and more well-know tear and mustard gasses, primarily used against entrenched soldiers.

“It is in commemoration of the tragic use of chemical weapons during World War I that we host this exhibition here today -– to remind us of the beginnings of what our collective disarmament efforts under the Chemical Weapons Convention have now all but ended,” OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said.

This exhibition focuses on the eastern front of the war despite the first uses occurring near Belgium, the report states.

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Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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