Mollusc barnea is one of the ecological sentinels as it reacts rapidly on the pollution of the Black Sea, mostly by nutrients. If you find its shell at the coast (normally limestone or clay) it indicates that the mollusc lives here and therefore the environmental status of the Black Sea is good, as its shell is very fragile and cannot sustain long. Because of the strange characteristic structure of the valves it got called “Angel’s wings”.

This mollusc is selected as a model for the metallic sculpture, transferred on 31 October commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signature of the Black Sea Strategic Action from Ukraine to Georgia. This sculpture is made of two shells / “wings”, which were presented to the city of Batumi; the identical sculpture is to be placed in Odesa. Its installation symbolizes joint efforts of Ukraine and Georgia to protect the Black Sea.


It was proposed for children of age from 5 to 15 living in Ukraine and Georgia to write a story / fairytale / legend, in which to describe: what does the Black Sea angel protect? How to explain that its wings ended up in the sea? What magic power do the wings have if you touch the sculpture?


In total 30 stories were received in Ukraine and 12 in Georgia. The stories showed the great fantasy of children:

  • wings were thrown by angel in the Black Sea to win in the battle with Sea eater / Demons;
  • wings were given to star or child in order to save them from drowning;
  • wings could help marine citizen to identify themselves;
  • wings could stop the storm, flood and other extreme natural phenomena as well as protect Sea from pollution etc.

Here are some photos of awarding procedure.

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Selected stories:

“In the ancient times, when the Earth was small, and Oceans were big, God created the Black Sea for himself, because it was the place where he could rest with his heart and soul. Early in the morning the God would normally take a fishing rod, put a hat and go fishing for his dinner. Angels wanted to make a present for him and in order for fish never to deplete and the Black Sea never to deteriorate, they shared their feathers with the Sea. When the features reached the water, they turned into mollusks Barnea, which protect our beautiful Black Sea. If you touch Barnea, think about all the wonders, think about majestic Sea, which lives over ages and angels will bring your wish by their wings to the One, who can hear the voice of mollusks”

Maria Iordan, Ukraine


“Once upon a time, there was a mollusk. He looks differently from any other marine inhabitants, and he was thinking that he is alone in the world. He was trying to live as fish, jelly fish and sharks, but could not. He could not identify himself with anybody in the Sea and got very scared. Once he saw another creature looking similar to him. He asked this creature “Who you are?” – “My name is Angel’s wings”. “Oh, great, it means that my name is also Angel’s wings” – said the mollusk happily. So if you could not identify who you are, you can touch the wings and you will understand”

Hrystyna Oslavska, Ukraine


“Once the Demon protested against the God and started a war with him. The God won the battle and put the Demon and the angels, who supported him into the Hell. He also wanted to award the angels who supported him in the battle. So he was thinking to create something which would be beautiful and useful in the nature. In the end, he decided to create mollusks in the shape of angel’s wings. I believe these mollusks reflect the saints”.

Lika Varshanidze, Georgia


“In the sky at the brightest cloud, there was silver and half-transparent house of Angel. The Angel really liked to sit near window and watch humans. He felt sorry that people are busy with small things and waste their lives. He would come at night to people, hug them with his wings and inspire them to do good things. But the favorite hobby of the angel was to sit near the Sea and watch the stars. Once he saw the Star fallen into the Sea. He decided to save her. He gave his wings to the Star and they turned into shell, which protect the light of the star. It was a great power of love of the Angel to the Star, which gave a life to a new marine inhabitant. The Angel having his wings lost becomes a human. But when he looked at the sky, he remembered about his Star and never regret about his decision”

Anton Knyr, Ukraine

Some more photos  to legends.

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