When I first saw this picture of a cross with a concealed dagger blade, I assumed it was the work of an artist trying to make some sort of political statement about religion and/or violence and/or the relationship between the two. Which, frankly, would neither interest nor impress me very much. Turns out, however, that quite the opposite is true–this object was created for entirely practical reasons. In spite of what appears to be very workmanlike quality, it is in fact a shiv, secretly manufactured by a prisoner in Germany as an expedient concealment for a personal weapon. It was later discovered by his or her jailers (before being used, one hopes), and eventually photographed by Marc Steinmetz, who has assembled a remarkable online portfolio of pictures of improvised weapons and other prisoner’s inventions. Thanks to Thomas Howery for the lead.
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