A Security Council Chamber stripped of everything but concrete and a recess where the famous round Norwegian table stood. 
Photo: Martin Fossum/Norwegian General Consulate.A Security Council Chamber stripped of everything but concrete and a recess where the famous round Norwegian table stood. Photo: Martin Fossum/Norwegian General Consulate

An unrecognizable Security Council Chamber

8/28/2012 // For the first time The Security Council Chamber is beeing renovated. And Norway has a special role in the restoration.

Norway will contribute with 5 million USD to the renovation of the Security Council Chamber, and an addinational 3,2 million USD to the entire renovation of the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The UN headquarters in New York is undergoing its first renovation since Trygve Lie, the first Norwegian UN Secretary General, opened the place in the early fifties. Norway is committed to maintain the Norwegian identity in the UN Security Council Chamber, which Norway donated as a gift to the UN in 1952.

The UN Capital Master Plan from 2006 affirms that all member states will contribute to the renovation, with a total budget on 1,9 billion USD. Norway’s share is just under 3,2 million USD, in addition to 5 million USD Norway will spend on the Security Chamber.

The décor in the Security Chamber was designed by Norwegian architecture Arnstein Arneberg, and includes straw wallpaper from Biri, Else Poulsson designed fabric on the walls, Norwegian furniture and Per Krogh’s world famous image of a phoenix rising from a world in ashes. The UN requested that the Norwegian gift would be reinstalled after the renovation, which ensures a well-kept Norwegian identity. 


The colourful mural by Norwegian artist Per Krogh features prominently in the UN Security Council chamber. (Photo: UN Photo/DN)

The renovation is essential for continued operations in the UN, and involves a new infrastructure, updated electronical equipment, better lighting and ventilation. The Norwegian focus has been restoration rather than replacement. The chamber will re-open in its original form in the spring of 2013.

Read more about Norway's place in the Security Concil here.

The Security Council Chamber in figures
First meeting held: April 4th 1952.
Official inauguration: August 22nd 1952.
Dimensions: Floor space of 48 x 29 meters.
Capacity: 120 seats for the press and 400 for the general public.

See more pictures from the renovation at NorwayUN on Flickr.


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