18th July 2019 – United Nations Headquarters, New York.
On Thursday, 18 July 2019, on Nelson Mandela International Day, the Permanent Missions of Norway and South Africa to the United Nations unveiled “The Best Weapon” during the Dialogue for Peace celebration, hosted at the UN Headquarters.
The Peace Bench was created as a semi-circle, making those sitting on it to slide to the center, close to each other. It stands as a symbol of diplomacy, a desire to create more understanding and achieve dialogue between those on opposite sides of discussions. Nelson Mandela’s famous quote “The best weapon is to sit down and talk” is attached to the piece.
It was commissioned by the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, designed by the Norwegian architectural group, Snøhetta and created in partnership with the aluminum company Hydro and the manufacturer of sustainable furniture, Vestre. The Bench will stand at the UN Plaza in the main entryway for visitors to the United Nations until the end of the General Assembly sessions in September. It will then be transported to Oslo, near the Nobel Peace Center.