Broken Chair

by Dr. Michael Gross, Associate Provost for Academic Program Development &
Professor of Biology

It was my last day in Geneva.   On my way to take a tour of the UN building, I saw a huge chair sculpture.  But, it was on the other side of the street and I was nearly late so I didn’t stop to read about it. 

 When I got to the UN, the 2:00 tour was already full so I went across the street to the new Red Cross Museum.  I rushed through so I could get in line early for the 4:00 UN tour.  They only let in a few people for each tour and this was the last one of the day.  The tour guide explained that the building was constructed in Art Nouveau style for the League of Nations in the early 20th Century and then became the UN building.  Delegates from all over the world passed us in the halls. 

 The guide explained that the chair sculpture was called Broken Chair and was erected to draw attention to and protest land mines.  It was intended to be a temporary exhibit but was so popular that it was left in place permanently.  Now I understood why the chair was missing part of a leg.

Photo credit: Dr. Michael Gross

Photo credit: Dr. Michael Gross

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