Monday, November 24, 2008

Barcelo's Dome for the UNITED NATION is "Doubtless Creative Beauty"

GENEVA.- The United Nations unveiled a ceiling painting featuring hundreds of hanging icicles that cost $23 million. The new hall was inaugurated in the presence of Spanish King Juan Carlos, Queen Sophie, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Swiss Federal President Pascal Couchepin, along with the artist.

Spanish abstract artist Miquel Barcelo used more than 100 tons of paint on the 16,000-square-foot elliptical dome.

"The Spanish Foreign Ministry says the government is funding 40 percent of the costs, with the rest footed by private-sector donors. Of the public money, 500,000 euros (US$633,000) comes from a budget for overseas development aid and international organizations like the United Nations," reported the Associated Press.

"Nothing better than art as a universal message to express the values and beliefs that inspired the United Nations," said King Juan Carlos.

There were more than 700 guests, many people were left standing. The businessmen who donated money for the project were also present, a large group of leaders from Balear and 40 friends of the artist were there too.

Using over one hundred tons of paint with pigments from all corners of the globe, specially designed equipment, and with the involvement of specialists in various disciplines, including from particle physics laboratories, engineers, architects and others in heritage restoration, Miquel Barceló gathered himself a truly exceptional support team to overcome unprecedented technical and artistic challenges for the completion of this ambitious project.

"The cave is a metaphor for the agora, the first meeting place of humans, the big African tree under which to sit to talk, and the only possible future: dialogue, human rights," Barcelo said to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

The “Chamber for Human Rights and for the Alliance of Civilisations” is the room’s official title and it is now the permanent home of the newly created United Nations Human Rights Council. It is the UN’s most modern negotiating room, using the latest materials and technology in audiovisual resources, conference services, interpretation systems, information technology and telecommunications.

I have no doubt that people will come to see it whether they have business here or not
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The artist recently revealed the inspiration behind his brightly coloured abstract.

"On a day of immense heat in the middle of the Sahel desert, I recall with vivacity the mirage of an image of the world dripping toward the sky," Barcelo said.

"Trees, dunes, donkeys, multicoloured beings flowing drop by drop."

As the work was unveiled, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Barcelo for putting his "unique talents to work in service of the world".

He added: "The artwork you have created for this room is innovative and radiant.

"I have no doubt that people will come to see it whether they have business here or not."

The artwork can be found on the ceiling of the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room.



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