Aluminium from Hydro used in an art installation dedicated to Peace for the Nobel Peace Center

Illustration of the 'Peace Bench' which will be unveiled at the UN in New York this summer. (Credit: Lars Tornøe)

Illustration of the ‘Peace Bench’ which will be unveiled at the UN in New York this summer. (Credit: Lars Tornøe)

“The Best Weapon” peace bench will be on display in front of the UN headquarters in New York until September 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) OSLO / NEW YORK, 21-Jun-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — “Peace Bench” made out of aluminium from Hydro will be unveiled on the Nelson Mandela Day, July 18, 2019, at the UN headquarters in New York. Meant to be a “tool for dialogue,” street furniture maker Vestre, architecture and design firm Snøhetta and aluminum company Hydro have been commissioned to build the “Peace Bench” called The Best Weapon for the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway.

The Best Weapon peace bench has been designed by Snøhetta with the aluminium provided by Hydro while the final creation and touch has been completed by Vestre. The collaboration is seen as a natural one since the four organisations, Vestre, Snøhetta, Hydro and the Nobel Peace Center have origins in Norway. The art project is supported by the Norwegian government.

The Peace Bench, a piece of art, is a symbol of diplomacy and dialogue. It pays tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize winners and their effort to bring people together in an effort to find effective solutions for peace.

Nelson Mandela’s famous quote “The best weapon is to sit down and talk” is engraved on the art installation. The name of the peace bench “The Best Weapon” is actually derived from the popular quote.

Commenting on the art installation, President and CEO of Hydro Hilde Merete Aasheim, said:

“As an international industrial company with operations in more than 40 countries, we see close dialogue with the communities we operate in as a foundation for a viable business and sustainable operations. As a long-term partner of the Nobel Peace Center, we are also pleased that aluminium from Hydro could play a key role in this piece of peace art.”

The Peace Bench will return to Oslo at the end of September and will be installed on its permanent location near the Nobel Peace Center and the Oslo City Hall, which is the place where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually.

The art project steps on Snøhetta and Vestre’s longtime commitment to social design in public spaces and is meant to be a tool for bringing social change. From conceptual aspect, the bench itself is designed as a circle segment that will make people slide together while encouraging them to talk to each other. The sturdy material (aluminium) used for the make of the bench ensures its longevity aimed at promoting diplomacy and dialogue for many generations to come.

Commenting on the Peace Bench, Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Center Liv Tørres, said:

“The Peace Bench manifests the values of the Nobel Peace Center and pays tribute to the humane ideals of Nelson Mandela – ideals of compromise, of dialogue and compassion.”

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Ina Strander John
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