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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763 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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  • Interesting, residing opposite the union and close to the botanical garden. A place to go to.
  • If you want a good picture... Go in the late evening or cross the street by the UN... Good angle
  • What an amazing place just opposite the UNITED NATIONS headquarters. Broken chair is a gigantic chair reminding us to always remember people who lost their limbs in land mines
  • Nice place to understand current political scenario in all most every where
  • lovely art i just thought it was a broken chair once i understood it's meaning near the UN building - it made a lot of sense

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