GENEVA.- Fundación ONUART has commissioned top contemporary Spanish artist Miquel Barceló, supported by a 20-strong team, to create a unique ceiling painting for Room XX. This meeting venue will host the Human Rights Council and will be one of the largest and most state-of-the-art of all the negotiating rooms at the Palais des Nations. What also distinguishes Room XX in particular is that it has an enormous 1500m2 ellipsoidal dome. This dome provides the backdrop for the biggest challenge ever for the 50-year-old Barceló.
Using over one hundred tonnes of paint with pigments from all corners of the globe, specially designed equipment, and with the involvement of specialists in various disciplines, including from particle physics laboratories, engineers, architects and others in heritage restoration, Miquel Barceló has gathered himself a truly exceptional support team to overcome unprecedented technical and artistic challenges for the completion of this ambitious project.
The Chamber for Human Rights and for the Alliance of Civilisations will be the rooms official title following its inauguration and it will be the permanent home of the newly created United Nations Human Rights Council. It will become the UNs most modern negotiating room, using the latest materials and technology in audiovisual resources, conference services, interpretation systems, information technology and telecommunications.
The project began on 9 April 2007 and over the following two months the rooms original interior was dismantled, along with its plaster dome. A new super-strength, custom-made aluminium structure for the dome was put in place and M. Barceló started work on 1 September. The dome is due to be unveiled on November 18 in the presence of Spanish King Juan Carlos, Queen Sophie, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Swiss Federal President Pascal Couchepin.