You’d never miss the monument of the broken chair at the United Nations office in Geneva. It’s on the square in front of the office where world affairs are decided. The monstrosity of the structure carries the weight of a world problem we all too familiar with – war.
The Broken Chair at the United Nations Office in Geneva
Where is it? It’s in front of the Palace of Nations in Geneva. From the train station downtown, take a streetcar that goes all the way to the United Nations. Get off at the last stop.
Best Time to Visit. Wake up early to beat the crowd. The sculpture, I think, can be felt when you’re alone with it. Even without reading its description, you feel the sense of what the statue stands for.
Broken Chair. If you read some news lately and know a bit of what the UN does, you’ll surely know what the Broken Chair symbolizes.
It stands for both fragility and strength, precariousness and stability, brutality and dignity.
Of land mines and cluster bombs. Originally, it was thought of as a symbol of urging world’s nations to ban land mines and cluster bombs. While looking at this giant monument I was reminded of the land mine victims I met in Cambodia whose legs are wrapped in bandages. I can clearly see the relationship between this Broken Chain and those land mine survivors.
As a reminder. This may be just a chair with a broken leg but this serves as a reminder for politicians and us – visitors – of the plight of the war-torn civilians. War breaks the individual, community and country.
Stats. The chair is made from 5.5 tons of wood and it is 12 meters high. Though one leg is broken, the chair stands proud and dignified.
Where to Stay in Geneva
If you’re looking a cheap hostel that is accessible to everything, then, stay atIt’s 10 minutes walk to and from the train station. Lake Geneva is just 750 meters and it’s also accessible to the street car stop. The hostel is clean and security is good.