Inaugurated on 18 November, 2008 in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the “Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations” room (better known as Room XX) is the home of the United Nations Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Part of my work involves advocacy at the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms, so Room XX is a place I visit regularly. (Photos are not allowed, but I snuck these photos with my phone anyway.)
Spanish abstract artist Miquel Barceló created a a massive work of art for the ceiling of the room with paint composed of pigments from around the world. More than 30 tons of paint were sprayed on the 1,500-square-meter dome ceiling, with the many layers of paint creating a textured rainbow of stalactites. Depending on where you are in the room, the colors of the stalactites change based on perspective.
Barceló describes his work in this way:
“All of it is a sea upside down, but it is also a cave.
The complete union of opposites,the ocean surface of the Earth and its most concealed cavities.”