#TourTuesday: The Celestial Sphere, or Armillary Sphere, in the Ariana Park of the Palais des Nations, home to UN Geneva, is a work of art by American sculptor Paul Manship (1885–1966). It was donated in 1939 by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to what was then the League of Nations building. It has become a symbol of International Geneva, and of Geneva's status as a centre for dialogue and peace.
The sphere measures 410 cm in diameter and weighs about 5,800 kg. The spherical frame is adorned with constellations and stars, as the sculpture features eighty-five constellations of the universe. The constellations are gilded and the 840 stars are silvered. As his signature, it bears Manship's self-portrait with his tools, in profile, hidden among the constellations.
It was inaugurated in September 1939, ominously coinciding with the outbreak of World War II, which would seal the fate of the League of Nations.
Today, it is admired by the over 110,000 annual visitors to the Palais, through the windows of the Lost Footsteps Hall (Hall des Pas Perdus), which offer an unparalleled view of the park and the sphere.
Regram @ungeneva | 📷 UN Photo/ Christophe Nardo
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