Broken Chair Sculpture, Geneva

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#13 of 184 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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  • A Broken Chair was a monument created as a symbol of the fight against landmines, therefore, a work of intense meaning. Is located in front of the UN building is practically an obligatory stop for visitors to Geneva.
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  • 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 de...  more »
  • Very nice to see this and get it explained by the Guide, very important meaning behind this. Was a little funny when we stood to took picture with it. Are lots of fountains that are a little bit across delicious to see my
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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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Where to stay in Geneva

In the elegant city of Geneva, a little shuteye doesn't come cheap. A number of relatively expensive hotels surround the lakefront, a prime location for visitors here; note that these tend to fill up for conferences and trade shows, so plan accordingly. More budget-minded travelers can look into options closer to the airport, which is a quick 15-minute ride on public transport into the city. While there a very few family-owned guesthouses and hotels, there are a handful of hostels--though these too are priced pretty steep. You can also find more affordable options in the outlying cities of Annemasse and Gaillard.
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