Broken Chair Sculpture, Geneva

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#11 of 178 in Things to do in Geneva
Broken Chair is a monumental sculpture in wood by the Swiss artist Daniel Berset, constructed by the carpenter Louis Genève. It is constructed of 5.5 tons of wood and is 12 metres (39 feet) high.It depicts a giant chair with a broken leg and stands across the street from the Palace of Nations, in Geneva. It symbolises opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians and others visiting Geneva.HistoryBroken Chair is an original project of Paul Vermeulen, co-founder and director of Handicap International Suisse. In October 1996 he commissionned to the artist a monumental chair of over 10 meters high, with a torn leg, to be installed on the place des Nations. The objective was to get the largest possible number of States to sign the Ottawa Treaty on landmines in December 1997. The sculpture was erected by Handicap International in front of the main entrance to the Palais des Nations in Geneva on the 18th of August 1997, where it was intended to remain for three months, until the signing of the Ottawa Treaty in December 1997 in Ottawa. Following ratification by 40 countries, the Treaty became effective as an instrument of international law on 1 March 1999.
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Broken Chair Sculpture Reviews
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  • The broken chair is a powerfully symbol of the futility of war. Situated directly outside the United Nations building. The broken chair leg is a call against the use of landmines, a thought producing ...  more »
  • This is a great sculpture to visit right outside the UN buildings. There is a plaque on the floor which explains the concept of the piece. This is also really good to visit at night as it is all lit u...  more »
  • A very nice place, spacious and pedestrian, is very nice to visit! We could enjoy to have fun taking pictures with the big Chair quietly. I recommend it as a couple or as a family! In front is the entrance of the UN with these flags. I advise to visit this place even if it is slightly off center of the city.
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  • It's about what you would expect from a giant three legged chair in the middle of an intersection. There was plenty of room to appreciate the view of the UN and to get photos of the landmark in the center island. Worth the stop.
  • An interesting artistic impression depicting the state of the world with specific focus on war torn countries. For me, it also shows that humankind is strong that even after injuries inflicted because of war, we still rise up. One will find it at Place Des Nations, a large square facing the back side of the UN headquarters in Geneva.
  • A fun place to take a selfie. Very close to UN building. It's a 12 meters tall sculpture in shape of chair with only three legs and fourth leg broken. Still it stands high and indicates the opposition against human rights.
  • Located in front of the United Nation Office of Geneve, one cannot miss the iconic broken chair. The place can be crowded by tourists at certain time. It would be best to visit the place in the summer around 8pm when the sun is still up but there's not much tourists buzzing around.
  • This gigantic chair was near from United Nations office. Better go here when the water fountains on
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