United Nations | Palais des Nations Unies
|United Nations | Palais des Nations Unies
|Swiss National Library, Bern
The Palais des Nations houses the European headquarters of the United Nations. As a world diplomacy center, it welcomes more than 25,000 delegates every year. Guided tours are offered daily. The building is also recognized for its collection of more than 2000 artworks: one discovers the extraordinary ceiling sculpture of the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, created by the Spanish artist Miquel Barcelò.
This artwork depicts the Broken Chair, a 12 meter high monumental wooden sculpture by the Swiss artist Daniel Berset. Known worldwide, it is one of the most iconic works of art of the new century. Its message is as disturbing as simple: to remind us of the fate of the victims of anti-personnel mines and to encourage States to engage in banning them, as well as cluster munitions.
To illustrate this struggle, the Broken Chair only rests on three feet, the fourth having burst at half-height. Established at the Place des Nations in August 1997, the Broken Chair was supposed to be a temporary artwork intended to make an impression in the days preceding the opening of the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines.
But with the ovation and the admiration which the population of Geneva reserved for the sculpture, its presence in front of the palace of Nations was constantly extended. More than 20 years after its creation, the Broken Chair has become a key figure in Geneva. Many local citizens were born after it and have never seen the Place des Nations without its famous chair.
On the other hand, they still live in a world in which antipersonnel mines are still being manufactured and used: while 162 countries have joined the Ottawa Convention, it’s not case for dozens of others, including several most powerful countries in the world, whose stock of mines is counted in millions.
|Étorie on fine art paper
|Atelier WOCS, Genève
|Certificate of authenticity