The Broken Chair in Geneva – A Powerful Landmark Full of Symbolism
The Broken Chair in Geneva
The Broken Chair in Geneva is one of the city’s many landmarks. Standing 12 metre high it’s certainly difficult to miss as it stand on its 3 legs at the Places des Nations.
The giant chair was commissioned by Paul Vermeulen, co-founder and director of Handicap International and was built as a temporary sculpture in 1997. It was designed by Swiss artist Daniel Berset. This art work, missing one leg, is meant to symbolise peace. It’s a graphic illustration showing what pain and suffering war, and particularly landmines, can cause people. It is a lasting symbol to remind us of the horror of landmines.
Since its inception it has remained in place in Geneva – except for a short time when the UN Palais des Nations was being renovated. It has now become one of the city’s most recognised landmarks. In 2004 the chair was donated to Handicap International, a charity founded by two French doctors in 1982. Handicap International has 3,500 people helping people in 60 countries around the world.
So next time you visit Geneva, do take time to visit this statue and maybe reflect for a moment on everything it stands for.
The Broken Chair Geneva
Address: 1202 Genève, Place des Nations
All photos courtesy of Geneva Tourism
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